U.S. timber industry failing to invest in research and development, report says

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 15, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A group of industry analysts finds the U.S. forest products industry has fallen far behind in producing new things out of wood. “Many traditional forest product markets have matured or declined,” the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities report stated. “Yet the sector’s research and development funding — essential to innovation — has fallen and its R&D capacity has withered.” The report, released on Oct. 6, found the wood products sector invested just six-tenths of a percent of its sales revenue toward research and development, while the U.S. manufacturing sector average was six times as much. Specific industries like biomedicine spend 12 percent or more. …Todd Morgan at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research said that problem grew as the timber industry moved away from its historical “vertically integrated” corporate structure.

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