AFWI officially launched

The future of sustainable forestry received a significant boost with the official launch of the $100 million Australian Forest and Wood Innovations (AFWI) research institute on March 12, 2024.
AFWI is a collaboration between the Australian Government and the University of Tasmania, committed to advancing research and innovation in Australia’s forest and wood product industries.

The plaque was made by the Architecture and Design staff at the new Workshop and Levee studio at Inveresk. It features wood from across Australia.

The University of Tasmania will host AFWI and support a local research centre with further centres planned for the University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of Melbourne.

The University of Tasmania’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black, said the university was excited to bring world leading research to answer questions that will help accelerate the role of forestry and wood products in meeting the challenge of climate change and building a circular economy.

“AFWI will provide the skills and knowledge to support sustainable production of wood products, protect biodiversity and multiple forest values, and ensure the national sector is at the forefront of innovation and climate action,” Professor Black said.

“We are the number one university in the world for climate action according to the Times Higher Education impact rankings and we are committing to supporting the transition to a low-emissions global economy we need to make – wood must play a big part in that future.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, said AFWI would support sustainable forestry, while also helping to deliver a future made in Australia.

“It’s an exciting time for forestry research as we work towards unlocking the full potential of wood as the ultimate renewable material and growing our forests and forestry industry,” Minister Watt said.

The hon Senator Murray Watt and Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black unveil a plaque, officially launching AFWI..

“The three research centres will undertake research to enhance our production forests and the wood products sourced from them – managing and sustainably expanding our Australian forestry resources, transforming wood residues into renewable products and energy solutions – all while helping to address the threat of climate change.

“AFWI will draw on the best researchers and facilities across the nation to ensure Australia’s forest and wood products industries remain on the front foot, supporting applied research, development and innovation.”

At the launch a plaque, made by the University’s Architecture and Design staff and featuring wood from across Australia, was unveiled to mark the occasion.

The AFWI Board is chaired by Mr Bob Gordon and includes nine other members with industry and forestry research experience, an understanding of workers’ needs, First Nations perspectives and from the Commonwealth.

AFWI will create opportunities for innovation and support the development of researchers to support the sectors’ future, building on the work the existing regional National Institute for Forest Products Innovation centres have already delivered.

AFWI will shortly be announcing the opening of the first of four, $5 million annual national open calls for forestry research projects. The annual national open calls will be open to applications from all Australian-based researchers supporting the forest industry and will not be limited to the research centres established by AFWI.

Find out more about AFWI at