CLEMSON — Forest products giant Weyerhaeuser has donated $50,000 to the Clemson University Wood Utilization and Design Institute to help support the advancement of the South Carolina wood industry.

The money will be used to help fund the institute, which brings together foresters, architects, engineers, constructors and building industry stakeholders to design advances in wood-based products through education and training, product research and development, as well as development of technical and design solutions.

“This gift will be used to support our institute as we go forward,” said Pat Layton, director of the Wood Utilization and Design Institute. A Weyerhaeuser representative will serve on the institute’s advisory board and will work with other board members to shape the direction of the institute.”

Graham Marsh, area manager for Weyerhaeuser-S.C. Lowcountry, said company officials are excited about working with the Clemson team.

“Weyerhaeuser is delighted to be a founding partner of the Wood Utilization and Design Institute at Clemson University,” Marsh said. “The talented team at Clemson is leading the way to find new and innovative uses of sustainable forest products. Clemson’s work complements our vision to provide great sustainable products that improve lives in fundamental ways.”

Clemson University’s Wood Utilization and Design Institute (WU+D) is a multidisciplinary entity that was established in 2013 to educate, conduct research and provide continuing education of stakeholders across the wood industry. Researchers with the institute currently are testing cross-laminated timber (CLT) to determine burn rates, wind resistance and structural load.

Clemson says the forest industry has an $18.6 billion impact on the South Carolina economy. More than two-thirds of land in South Carolina — 12.9 million acres — is forested.

Weyerhaeuser joins other founding partners for the institute, including Huber Engineered Wood Products, Collum Lumber, SmartLam and Mac Rhodes, a South Carolina timberland owner.