In the past, high quality old-growth timber has sustained forest-based economic prosperity in Canada. As this comparative advantage wanes, economic prosperity requires a new commitment to become a knowledge-based, value-added industry. These forces are driving commodity wood-products producers to manufacture more specialized and higher value wood products.
To foster job creation, stabilize forest dependent communities, encourage increased value recovery and ensure sustainable development of Canada’s forests, governments are supporting this transition to a value-added industry.
All segments of the industry want the value-added sectors to grow. However, several factors stand in the way of this growth:
- The lack of a highly skilled workforce possessing the requisite knowledge and skill profiles.
- An inadequate knowledge base to educate and develop and apply the technologies needed to sustain competitive positions.
The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) was created, in consultation with the University’s Forestry Advisory Council, with input from the National Education Initiative on the Canadian Wood Processing Industry (NEI), to address these needs. CAWP is an interdisciplinary initiative administered by the Department of Wood Science, Faculty of Forestry, in collaboration with the Faculty of Applied Science at The University of British Columbia.
CAWP is headed by a Managing Director and guided by two groups – an internal Management Committee composed of faculty members from the Department of Wood Science, and an external Advisory Board, made up of representatives from the wood products industry around Canada as well as faculty members from other UBC academic units. CAWP has a staff of administrative and technical personnel whose work is complemented by the contributions of many Faculty Associates, researchers and associates.
CAWP’s goal is to offer high quality education, service, and research activities, with a strong emphasis on value-added wood products manufacturing, thus meeting the needs and priorities of our supporting industry.
Our mandate includes activities in the following areas:
- Offering short courses, workshops, certificate programs and seminars on topics related to value added manufacturing
- Providing technical support and product development services to industry
- Contributing to the Department of Wood Science’s award-winning undergraduate Wood Products Processing Degree Program
- Administering the co-operative education component of the Wood Products Processing program
- Supporting graduate student development targeted at advanced wood products manufacturing