Founded in 2013, the Renewable Materials Research Centre (CRMR) is made up of researchers from the former Wood Research Center (U. Laval) who collaborate closely with several government agencies, universities and college centers. of technology transfer and other research centers. These collaborations take the form of a research network, a large-scale initiative, and the sharing of knowledge and equipment.

The CRMR brings together researchers from different disciplines for the development of new solid wood products, wood-based composites, wood fibers or other lignocellulosic fibers and value-added co-products. The main goal of the center is to support research and training for the responsible use of forest and lignocellulosic resources, while taking into account increasingly severe environmental and economic constraints.


  1. Understand and Characterize the Renewable Resource.
    • Determine the physical, mechanical, chemical and thermal properties of wood, agricultural plants and other plant fibers;
  2. Transforming the Resource and Designing Eco-Responsible Products and Systems.
    • Develop wood and biomass processing methods, design innovative and eco-responsible products and systems and develop and promote extractives and biopolymers resulting from these processing methods;
  3. Using Innovative Products and Systems and Analyzing their Environmental Performance.
    • Assess the behavior and performance of innovative products and systems and analyze their life cycle;
  4. Accessing Markets.
    • Analyze the needs of society for renewable materials and the economics, governance mechanisms and marketing of innovative products and systems.

May 2002

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.

December 2010

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.

May 2012

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.

July 2017

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.

March 2019

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.

November 2022

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.

March 2023

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.


The mission of the Renewable Materials Research Centre (CRMR) is to support research and training for the responsible use of forest resources and other lignocellulosic fibers in order to meet the current and future needs of our society, taking into account environmental issues and economic.


The governance structure of the Centre includes the Director and the Co-Director, supported by a Consultative Committee, a Members’ Assembly and an Executive Committee.

The Consultative Committee is the center for consultation of the Center in terms of strategic support for its development. It presides over the distribution of human and material resources necessary for the proper functioning of the Center and ratifies the specific agreements made between the Center and any body internal or external to Laval University. It studies and coordinates the initiatives of the members in terms of requests for common grants, sharing of resources, carrying out transfer activities, etc.

The Members’ Assembly promotes a culture of collaboration. It studies and approves, if necessary, the decisions and projects proposed by the consultation committee in relation to the strategic orientations, nature and functioning of the center.

The Executive Committee that was established in December 2021 is to ensure a diversity of views on operations and to make proposals to the Members’ Assembly on the strategic directions of the Center.

For more details, read the Statutes of the CRMR (french version).