Wis. forest coalition reaches final round for $100 million grant
The group’s plan targets the state’s surplus of cordwood
MADISON, Wis. – A proposal submitted by a coalition of major players in the Wisconsin forest products world has emerged as one of only 60 finalists competing to share in a $1 billion U.S. Economic Development Administration challenge grant. Between 20 and 30 applicants will share in the program—for up to $100 million per grantee.
The 60 finalists, including the Wisconsin group, will each receive a $500,000 grant to “help take their projects to the next level,” according to an announcement from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. The 60 applicants who progressed to this stage came from a group of over 500 applicants.
The deadline for final submissions before the awarding of $1 billion in grants is March 15, 2022.
The Wisconsin plan, titled “A Wisconsin Forest Products Cluster: A Catalyst for Sustaining Enduring Transformation,” places a heavy emphasis on developing new and unique products that will utilize a large surplus of cordwood in the state that has developed as a result of a decline in some paper products, particularly general printing paper.
Two members of the Wisconsin forest products group discussed the application with the Wisconsin Council on Forestry at its November meeting. Stacey Johnson of the Wisconsin Paper Council and Paul Fowler, Executive Director Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, described seven potential plans that are part of the cluster program.
Some involve new and novel paper products. Others focus on non-paper uses, such as wood fiber insulation and new manufactured wood capabilities that combine wood scrap materials to make construction products.
You can read the announcement and list of 60 applicants who made it to the final cut here: