Michigan Tech and the Michigan Society of American Foresters worked together in the fall of 2013 to bring players from all aspects of the “biomaterials life cycle” together with the first “Michigan Biomaterials Conference”, which took place in Traverse City on October 3-4, 2013. The conference, hosted by the Michigan Society of American Foresters (SAF), brought together various stakeholders from around the state to participate in forming the framework for a Michigan Biomaterials Initiative. Michigan Tech brought in delegations from the states of Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, and Oregon to share their successes in the biomaterials industry. The first goal of the conference was to identify barriers to biomaterials becoming a more significant part of the economic vitality and overall quality of life in the State. Next, the conference participants worked to define an educational program (two-year, four-year, graduate, and continuing) focused on biomaterials. Finally, the participants were charged with the task of identifying gaps in research and technology related to biomaterials.
 
MTU’s Forest Biomaterials Initiative has the goal of increasing the academic capacity for researching basic, applied and advanced segments of forest biomaterials with other colleges, schools, and departments at Michigan Tech, as well as with external partners and stakeholders. The responsible extraction, processing, and recycling of organic materials from ecosystems will define the future of our global green economy and MTU plans on leading the way.