The Centre de recherche sur le bois (CRB) was created, with Professor Alain Cloutier as its director. The CRB received official recognition from the Board of the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics of Université Laval. Research activities were focused on basic and applied research on wood, its transformation, its use in innovative products and its marketing. It included ten regular researchers, three associate researchers and eight industrial researchers.
The Centre de recherche sur le bois (CRB) is recognized as a university research center by the Commission de la recherche de l’Université Laval with annual funding for its operations. The CRB has nine regular researchers at Université Laval, one regular researcher at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), fifteen regular industrial researchers from the FPInnovations research institute – Forintek Division and the Service de recherche et d’expertise en transformation des produits forestiers (SEREX), as well as six associate researchers from different departments at Université Laval, about fifty students and ten employees.
New name: Centre de recherche sur les matériaux renouvelables (CRMR) in order to broaden the scientific scope of the center and thus promote the grouping of expertise on the valorization of renewable materials at the Quebec level. A funding application is submitted to the FRQNT to become a strategic cluster (regroupement stratégique).
April 2013 to March 2017
The CRMR becomes a strategic cluster (regroupement stratégique) funded by the FRQNT. At its inception, the CRMR was the result of the merger of the Centre de recherche sur le bois (CRB) of Université Laval, the Centre de recherche sur les matériaux lignocellulosiques (CRML) of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, two Centres collégiaux de transfert de technologie (CCTT), the Service de recherche et d’expertise en transformation des produits forestiers (SEREX) of the CEGEP de Rimouski and the Centre spécialisé en pâtes et papiers (CSPP) of the CEGEP de Trois-Rivières as well as industrial and government researchers from FPInnovations, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the Ministère des ressources naturelles du Québec. The Centre d’innovation en ébénisterie et meuble (Inovem) of the Cégep de Victoriaville, the Centre technologique des résidus industriels (CTRI) of the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Cecobois joined the group.
During this period, more than 40 researchers, 14 employees and 200 graduate students made up the research center. The FRQNT funded the CRMR on this basis until March 2017. After this date, the CRMR remains a university-wide recognized center and is evaluated every five years by the Commission de la recherche de l’Université Laval.
After fifteen years as director of the CRB/CRMR, Professor Alain Cloutier left his position as director of the CRMR. In December 2017, after acting as interim director, Professor Alexis Achim was appointed Director of the CRMR for a period of 4 years, until April 2021.
A group of 20 Quebec researchers led by Alexis Achim receives a grant for the Matériaux renouvelables Québec innovation network (Réseau MRQ / MRQ Network). The network is a platform for exchanges between academic research and the user community whose mission is to stimulate the process of innovation and technology transfer in the fields of design, characterization, use and socio-environmental performance of renewable materials in Quebec. This network was created through collaborations with the following partners Fonds de recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FRQNT), FPInnovations, CECOBOIS, AIREX Énergie, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Communauté métropolitaine de Québec, Natural Resources Canada, Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec (APCHQ), and Bâtiment vert et intelligent (BVI).
March 2021 to December 2021
On March 5, 2021, the Members’ Assembly appointed Véronic Landry as Co-Director of the CRMR. The objective was to have a better representation of the diversity of views and research areas of the Centre. The co-director’s four-year term will be staggered by two years with the director’s term to ensure continuity in leadership.
Alexis Achim, Director of the Center, has been reappointed effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2025.
At the request of the Members’ Assembly and the Commission de la recherche de l’Université Laval, on December 10, 2021, the CRMR also established an Executive Committee. The mandate of the Executive Committee is to ensure a diversity of views on operations and to make proposals to the Members’ Assembly on the strategic orientations of the Centre. In addition to the executive and co-directors, it is also made up of two student members, three regular researcher members and the person responsible for coordinating the Centre as a non-voting member and in charge of coordinating the meetings. The mandate of the Executive Committee is for a period of two years with the possibility of renewal.
On November 4, 2022, the Members’ Assembly appointed Pierre Blanchet as co-director of the CRMR. The objective was to have a better representation of the diversity of opinions and needs of the CRMR and a better distribution of decision-making power.
On March 10, 2023, Rémi Georges, Assistant Professor in the Department of Wood and Forest Sciences in the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics at Université Laval (UL), was elected by the members’ assembly as a regular research member of the Renewable Materials Research Centre.