FPIC, forestry industry, Tech students get major boost from RoyOMartin

Dec 8, 2023 | Applied and Natural Sciences, General News, Giving

Ensuring a positive impact on the forestry industry across the southern United States, Martin Sustainable Resources LLC in Alexandria recently donated $1 million to Louisiana Tech as a leadership gift toward construction of the University’s new Forest Products Innovation Center (FPIC), with the assurance of another $1 million to be presented by June 2024.

The Center will be on South Campus and provide space for a transdisciplinary approach to solving the challenges associated with the timber industry. Groundbreaking is set for late Spring, 2024.

“As the Chairman, CEO, and CFO of RoyOMartin, a subsidiary of Martin Sustainable Resources, I am excited to be the lead investor in Louisiana Tech University’s Forest Products Innovation Center,” Roy O. Martin III said. “The Center will play a key role in driving research and identifying sustainable solutions for wood products. I look forward to collaborating and working together in the new state-of-the-art center, where transformational discoveries will become innovative solutions, successfully increasing forest productivity in the region.”

The new building will provide space for research collaborations, not only within the forestry industry, but also with other state and national industry partners. Academic programs in Forestry, Agriculture, Biology, Engineering, Science and other disciplines will all contribute to the learning, research, and service created by the FPIC.

“I look forward to the successful opportunities that the Louisiana Tech University’s Forest Products Innovation Center will offer by serving as an essential link between University research and the needs for adopting new practices, technologies, and products for the forest and timber industry,” President and Chief Operating Officer for RoyOMartin Scott Poole said. “Innovation is the key component to the Center’s success, and Louisiana Tech University exemplifies an innovative-driven culture for learning and research.”

The Center is another leap forward in the University’s strategic initiative to continue its creation of programs and research that foster partnerships and collaboration throughout various academic environments. An ongoing goal is to create greater economic opportunities for Louisiana and the region through more efficient and effective processing of forest products.

“The forestry and forest products industries have a multibillion-dollar impact on Louisiana’s economy, including more than 37,000 jobs,” Dean of Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences Dr. Gary Kennedy said. “Louisiana Tech University has a discovery-driven culture that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship among industry partners, students and faculty, with a long track record of mutually beneficial collaborations.”

Although the interdisciplinary FPIC will be driven by Forestry, there will be a valuable Engineering and Science collaboration. The FPIC will house wood processing and testing labs as well as chemical engineering labs where industry can work with research faculty and students. The collaborative work and diverse leadership teams will prepare and give students the skills needed for tomorrow’s innovative workforce, as well as meet the demands of a global economy.

In addition, a U.S. Forest Researcher will be housed in the FPIC to bring another research perspective and identity to the Center that will provide more opportunities for enhancing the sustainability of forests and forest-related industries.

The University welcomes industry and private contributions to help secure funding needed to achieve the goal of developing the FPIC, which will not only support the forest industry, but also prepare Tech students and faculty to excel both academically and professionally. In addition, naming opportunities are available.

RoyOMartin is a privately held, professionally managed company that owns or controls over 500,000 timberland acres and multiple wood manufacturing facilities in Texas and Louisiana. RoyOMartin is headquartered in Alexandria.