Public and private research focused on wood utilization and product development in the
United States is an important source of innovation required for sustaining the worldwide competitive
position of the wood-based industry. Because of the research community’s diversity, the exact
magnitude of investment in wood utilization research is subject for much conjecture. However, in
2008 an estimated 400 to 500 wood utilization research projects were implemented by 150 to 200
federal, state and private entities. Investments in publically implemented projects were in the range
of $110 to $120million, while, by some estimates, investments in projects sponsored by private
concerns exceeded $2.5 billion in the same year. Scientists and supporting staff engaged by public
research organizations was in the range of 900 to 1,000 in 2008. For research conducted by private
concerns, scientists and engineers approached 8,000 in number. To experienced administrators,
conditions necessary for a successful research enterprise focused on wood utilization and product
development include clarity in purpose and well-defined client groups, effective governing boards
and advisory committees, visionary and enthusiastic administrators, talented and risk taking
scientists, satisfied research clients and customers, and research contributions that add to the
scientific foundation considered necessary to enhance the efficient use of wood.
Ellefson, Paul V.; Kilgore, Michael A.; Skog, Kenneth E.; Risbrudt, Christopher D..
Wood Utilization Research and Product Development Capacity in the United States: A Review.
University of Minnesota.
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