First president selected for new forest sector research institute
POINTE-CLAIRE, QUE-Dr Ian de la Roche has been selected as the first president and CEO of a new forest sector research institute intended to regroup the activities of the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican), Forintek and the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC). Dr de la Roche, current president and CEO of both Forintek and FERIC, has over 30 years of experience in research, research management, and strategic planning. He is a former assistant deputy minister in the federal department of Western Economic Diversification and later held the same position at Agriculture Canada. In his new role, he will be working with the management and member companies of Paprican, FERIC, and Forintek to bring the yet-to-be-named single institute to reality. The creation of the new entity was approved in June by the boards and member companies of the three individual research groups (EcoWeek July 3, 2006). Over the coming months, an integration plan will be developed and presented to the members of each institute for final approval. Paprican operates laboratories in Quebec and British Columbia, with research programs addressing high-priority technical issues of the industry such as product quality and value, cost competitiveness and sustainability. FERIC specializes in areas of research related to the harvesting of wood, transportation and forest road construction, silviculture, and wildland fire operations. Forintek's research focuses on technological advances to enhance the competitiveness of Canada's wood products sector.