Innovation in the forest industry is the focus of a conference at the University of Northern British Columbia this week.

It includes the participation of researchers, industry, and government leaders.

“The goal is to get the conversations going between industry and research and government to some extent about where can we take forest research to the benefit of our communities,” said Dr. Kathy Lewis, chair of the UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management Program.

She added Canada needs to play catch up in order to avoid falling further behind other countries when it comes to technological advances, for instance the Chinese.

“Absolutely. They are very good at technology as we know and we have the the capacity and the capability but maybe we just haven’t had the same focus,” said Lewis.

“We really have to broaden our economic base and so if there’s entrepreneurs out there who see an opportunity to develop a new product line, that what it’s going to take.”