Government of Canada
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Biomaterials and Chemicals
Innovative Wood Products and Building Systems
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Value Chain Modeling


Forest Sector R&D Initiative

The overall guidance of the NSERC Forest Sector R&D Initiative is the mandate of the NSERC Forest Sector R&D Partnership Committee, with representation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Natural Resources Canada, FPInnovations and other key sector experts, as well as the chairs of the Boards of Directors of the funded networks. Committee responsibilities include ensuring alignment of the initiative with the Forest Sector Innovation Agenda, the FPInnovations Strategic Plan and the forest sector's priorities, and providing strategic direction and guidance to meet the research objectives of the Initiative.


NSERC requires each network to adopt a management structure that ensures effective monitoring and decision making pertaining to research, research planning, financial control and interaction among all participants. This structure includes a Board of Directors, a Scientific Steering Committee, the Scientific Director and the Network Liaison Manager.

Board of Directors

Each network must appoint a Board of Directors that has overall responsibility for the management, direction and fiduciary accountability of the network. The board is accountable to NSERC. The names and affiliations of its members are considered public information.

The network must obtain NSERC’s approval for the overall composition of the board and for any changes in membership during the course of funding.

The membership of the board must reflect the interests and concerns of the public, private and academic sectors, and must be predominantly arm’s length. The board will include the Scientific Director, as the Head of the Science Steering Committee and its sole representative on the board, and an NSERC representative, as non-voting members. NSERC retains the right to name additional voting members to the board to ensure objectivity, and the perception of objectivity, in the management of the network. The Chair of the Board must be appropriately qualified and should not be affiliated with the network or any of the participating institutions.

The board should be convened to meet within the first quarter of the network’s first year, in order to approve its own mandate and to be apprised of the development and implementation of the network research program to date. At least one meeting of the board must be held annually. Additional meetings can be held as required.

Current Network Boards of Directors

Science Steering Committee

The Science Steering Committee is primarily made up of researchers from the network (academic, industry and government) who assist the Scientific Director in managing the scientific research program of the network. The Committee will be chaired by the Scientific Director.

The membership of this committee should reflect the multisectoral and multidisciplinary nature of the network research program. The management of the research program requires ongoing assessment of all projects in order to provide recommendations to the board regarding research priorities and budget allocations.

The Committee should ensure a mechanism is in place for periodic external assessment of the projects. This may be through an external advisory committee that reports directly to the Board of Directors.

Scientific Director

Each network has a Scientific Director who reports to the board. The Scientific Director is responsible for providing scientific leadership and direction to the network. Other duties may include: management of the network; providing NSERC with scientific and financial reports approved by the board; recruiting a Network Manager; promoting research collaboration among network participants; acting on behalf of the network with NSERC; and promoting the network to the scientific community, the private and public sectors, and the general public.

Network Manager

A network must have a senior manager with the appropriate background and expertise to direct the business and financial management of the network. This network manager provides the leadership and direction for all network operations and ensures control and accountability on a day-to-day basis.