New funding available for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Northern Development Initiative Trust has announced two new funding programs to support innovation in forestry, as priority, but also mining, energy, agriculture and aquaculture.

Priority is on to projects in communities impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic, but it’s not exclusive to those, and other innovative projects would be considered.

The Northern Industries Innovation Fund is a restructured Forest Innovation Fund with up to $750,000 annually for innovative industry projects for privately-owned, northern, incorporated companies with less than 500 employees.

It “will provide rebate funding up to $50,000 to a maximum of 50 per cent of a project’s budget for small and medium enterprises deploying innovative technologies in industries such as mining, energy, agriculture, aquaculture and forestry,” said a recent press release.

The second fund, the strategic initiatives fund, is for municipalities and First Nations for projects that focus on long-term economic transformation and sustainability.

It has a $900,000 budget, with grant funding only limited by the annual funds allocated to the program, up to 80 per cent of a project’s value.

Again, the priority is on projects in areas impacted by the mountain pine beetle, which may prioritize other projects above those in the Terrace area.

Barry Dobbin, coast mountains resource district manager for the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, said it’s hard to say whether the funds would benefit this area.

“Pine beetle hasn’t been a big issue for us,” he said. “Pine is less than five percent of our forest profile.”

He added that the timber supply in the Coast Mountains Resource District has not been impacted either.

“It is hard to say if the [funding] would come into play here without seeing any proposals,” he said.

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