Wood Education and Resource Center competitive grants available

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The Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) is accepting applications for cost-share demonstration projects that assist the WERC in meeting its mission of facilitating interaction and information exchange with the forest products industry that will enhance opportunities for sustained forest products production in the eastern hardwood forest region.

The anticipated funding available this fiscal year is expected to be approximately $1 million. Final amount will be determined once the Forest Service has received its official budget for Fiscal Year 2008. Completed applications are due to the WERC on or before February 4, 2008. Priority will be given to projects that accomplish one or more of the following items:

Maintain the economic competitiveness of the primary and secondary hardwood industries. Examples include encouraging the adoption of new technology to improve competitiveness and profitability.

Bring information and technology about processing, marketing and business-related skills to existing and emerging businesses involved in the development and manufacturing of wood products.

Bring information and technology to existing and emerging businesses that focus on urban wood utilization, hazardous fuels reductions, utilization options geared to improving stewardship, forest health, or the use of low value woody biomass.

Develop technology and markets to address emergency (global or domestic) issues including: 1.) Phytosanitation of wood packaging materials, firewood and similar products to eliminate these pathways for the transport of insect and disease pests, and 2.) development of markets for and utilization of unpredicted increases in volume of urban and rural wood due to incidents like new pest introductions (e.g. EAB) and weather events (e.g. tornados, ice storms).

Increase the sustainable use of woody biomass to meet our nation’s energy and raw materials needs. Examples include public/private partnerships for the use of woody biomass in heating and cooling, process energy, cogeneration, district energy systems, and solid and liquid fuel production. Projects may also develop or maintain local markets and forest industry infrastructure through the increased utilization of woody biomass for both energy and value-added products.

Provide key information to address the economic, social, and ecological aspects of woody biomass production and use: including sustainable supplies, harvesting techniques, forest management, plantation development, and environmental implications.

The FY 2008 application form and instructions can be viewed and downloaded from the WERC’s website at  http://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/

as well as http://www.grants.gov.

This application form is provided to assist grant applicants with the development of a completed application, and to provide proposal evaluators with the information they need to fairly select projects that will make the best use of available grant funds. Please contact Steve Milauskas, WERC Director, or Ed Cesa, WERC Deputy Director, at (304) 487-1510, if you have questions about the program.

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