Implementing new processes and innovative technologies in any company generally requires specialized labour that is tough to recruit. Innovation and technological developments in all areas of the forest products industry further exacerbate this problem. Recourse to external experts can help overcome the lack of expertise and difficulties in recruiting workers, while encouraging the competitiveness and sustainability of companies operating in all areas of the forest products industry.
The Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MFFP) is therefore implementing a financial assistance measure designed to support Quebec primary, secondary, and tertiary wood manufacturing companies, by providing them with access to technical expertise.
MASTE: Mesure d’accompagnement et de soutien technique aux entreprises québécoises de transformation des produits forestiers (Support and technical assistance measure for Quebec forest products manufacturing companies)
The measure, which stems from the Stratégie de développement de l’industrie québécoise des produits forestiers 2018-2023, enables companies to benefit from support services through customized technical support—for example, in terms of products, manufacturing processes, equipment, optimization and procurement.
“The new MASTE measure will make it possible for qualifying companies to obtain support that meet their needs, both from FPInnovations experts and from any company able to provide technical assistance and services, and to receive financial assistance from the MFFP of up to 60% of eligible expenses,” explained Serge Constantineau, Industrial Sector Leader and MASTE Manager at FPInnovations.
To qualify (based on eligibility criteria determined by the MFFP), a project must involve a minimum of 30 hours of professional fees. A maximum of 160 hours of professional fees and $2,000 worth of documentation are eligible for MFFP financial assistance. The private contribution to the financing of the project must be at least 25% of the total eligible expenses authorized by the MFFP. The measure is intended for companies located and operating in the province of Québec in the forest products industry, i.e., the pulp and paper, bioproducts, panels, sawmilling, wood construction, and bioenergy sectors.
“FPInnovations is very pleased to be collaborating on this outstanding measure, which will enable many companies to obtain specialized assistance. This support will make it possible for these companies to increase productivity as well as quality of their products, among others,” added Mr. Constantineau.
The MASTE measure has a budget of $4.5 million. Companies may submit up to two applications per year, per location. The program will end on December 31, 2021 or when funds are exhausted.