The Canadian federal government launched the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The goal is to help specific high potential Canadian economic strengths to advance technical platforms to enhance their world leadership position. The Canadian bioeconomy covers a wide range of Canadian traditional and non-traditional bio-sourced industrial sectors that employ more than 2 million Canadians and generates sales of $300 billion for the country.
“We believe – Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada said – that innovation development and deployment (including de-risking processes, products and markets) are key to our respective sectors’ competitiveness and diversification to ensure economic growth and job creation in rural and urban regions of Canada.”
“The bioeconomy is the primary industry that will enable Canada to be a global leader in environmental leadership transitioning Canada to a low carbon economy”, A.J. (Sandy) Marshall, Executive Director, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada stated.
Canadian organizations are well advanced in the development of a new non-linear approach to the bioeconomy through the establishment of a BioDesign Innovation Super Cluster. The proposed super cluster already has significant industry participation and will be industry led, feedstock agnostic (eg, wood fibre, agricultural residues, waste and other) and focus on achieving specific market outcomes aligned with enabling Canadian companies to be global leaders while creating jobs across Canada. This is a whole of value chain, circular economy approach. It connects players along the value chain from biological feedstocks to specific bio-based applications, building on current investments and successes in creating world bio-based technologies, products and markets.
According to Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO, FPInnovations, “our proposed BioDesign Super Cluster will focus on transformative processes and products. It will also link Tier One players along value chains that will build a sustainable low carbon economy where Canadians live and travel with bio-based products.”
The BioDesign SuperCluster will focus on two specific areas to achieve environmental, economic and social results: 1. Low carbon transportation with a focus on aviation fuels, bio-diesel and innovative lightweight components making Canadians travel more efficient through less fuel consumption; 2. Sustainable low-carbon living environment with a focus on advanced and bio-sourced materials where Canadian companies are supplying domestic and global markets for a low carbon environment.
The BioDesign Super Cluster will be built on the most promising technical platforms and will involve key industrial players across sectors such as forestry, agriculture, aerospace, automotive, chemistry, and many more. The Super Cluster will also be a critical growth and scaling vehicle for Canadian biotechnology companies with linkages to academic R&D partners.
“We truly believe that an investment in the Canadian bioeconomy will reach across Canada, creating jobs that will stay in Canada and will enable Canada to become a global leader in a low carbon economy”, Marc Lepage, President and CEO, Genome Canada, stated.
by Henry McWolf