This document comprises three case-studies describing the relationship between the private and public sectors and forestry research in Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand. In these three groups of countries, forestry and forest products research is conducted by both public and private organizations whose number and influence continue to grow. Overall, the public sector is still the dominant source of investments in forestry research. However, there are significant regional differences. In Europe, private organizations account for 9 percent of forestry research. Of research papers sampled in New Zealand and Australia from 1988 to 1993, 12 percent originated in the private sector. In the United States, on the other hand, at least two-thirds of the total annual investment in forestry and forest products research originates from the private sector.
Private sector forestry research tends to focus on problems of a biological or physical nature. Very little private research is focused on problems involving economics, assessment or forestry programme design.
The main conclusions that can be drawn from the three case-studies are as follows:
The unique organizational qualities that might enable the private (or public) sector to address a particular forestry issue more effectively are not well understood.