Team supports LP Innovations Center grand opening

Team supports LP Innovations Center grand opening Main Photo

18 Sep 2023

Light and Power, economic development, GRE

A leading manufacturer of high-performance building products recently celebrated the grand opening of a new facility that marks a significant milestone in its commitment to growth, innovation and sustainability.

LP Building Solutions (LP) opened its LP Innovation Center, located at the National Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota Duluth which emphasizes the company’s focus on driving future growth through new product development.

Great River Energy’s economic development services team joined University of Minnesota leaders and regional economic development partners at the ribbon-cutting event. The grand opening was also attended by executives from Louisiana Pacific’s headquarters in Nashville who remarked on the long history of innovating at its siding production facility in Two Harbors, Minnesota, which is served by Great River Energy’s member-owner Cooperative Light & Power.

“This partnership between the NRRI and LP is a great example of how collaborations and research can assist private sector businesses to succeed,” said Tom Lambrecht, manager of economic development services at Great River Energy and NRRI Advisory Board member.

In this unique industry-university collaboration, the LP Innovation Center will advance the use of sustainable technology in engineered wood products and applications. 

“We firmly believe that our products, coupled with responsible forest management, have the power to enhance carbon storage and contribute to the shift toward a lower carbon economy,” said LP Executive Vice President and General Manager of Siding Jason Ringblom in a statement. “Equally important to us is cultivating strong relationships with the communities in which we reside and operate, which includes the team at NRRI. Together, we can build a sustainable future and positively impact both the environment and the communities we serve.”

The center features a full-scale mock house, display wall, and small-scale fabrication shop, allowing LP to evaluate and optimize installation and application methods for engineered wood home-building products. Additionally, the center is designed to be a collaborative environment for LP’s team, NRRI scientists and engineers, and key customers to develop new products. 

“NRRI and LP have been working together over the last few years on individual projects, so it’s very exciting to take this next step in the relationship,” said NRRI Director of Partnership Development Tim White. “As an applied research institute focused on commercializing technologies to improve Minnesota’s economy, NRRI believes this Innovation Center is the perfect opportunity to work collaboratively with LP to continue to innovate.”

By establishing the LP Innovation Center at NRRI, LP can leverage the scientific and engineering expertise of NRRI’s professionals. Additionally, the center benefits from the local knowledge of the LP team, given its proximity to LP’s SmartSide siding mill in Two Harbors.