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Forest Research unveils bold new strategy

Forest Research is launching its new Biomaterial Futures strategy tomorrow. The launch is to be held at Forest Research’s main campus at Rotorua. Key forest industry representatives, other manufacturers, members of the academic community and government agencies will be in attendance.

This event officially marks a bold step by the Crown Research Institute to strengthen fundamental science capability in a key potential growth area for New Zealand.

“Materials derived from plants are tipped to become a major influence in global manufacturing within the next decade. This represents a huge opportunity for a country whose strength lies in primary production,” says Chief Executive, Bryce Heard. “Plants are likely to be akin to the oil wells of the future. They provide a renewable source of chemical building blocks for almost all materials, including composites made from fibre and plastic.”

Plant-based composites are already being used to replace products currently manufactured from finite resources, such as car parts and plastic packaging. Forest Research has discovered new sources of bio-based materials from wood, other plants and waste streams.

Mr Heard says that historically, New Zealand has led the world in pioneering plantation forestry. “Wood is currently the most widely used renewable biomaterial in the world today. The Biomaterial Futures strategy reaches beyond the traditional focus on wood production to more fully utilise sustainable plant resources.”

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