Bioindustrial Innovation Canada receives $1.8M federal boost to grow ag bioeconomy

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada has received an investment of over $1.8 million under the AgriAssurance Program to assist to further develop quality standards to accelerate growth of the bioeconomy in the agriculture sector.

The bioeconomy, which is part of the green economy, is based on the production and sale of products other than foodstuffs made from agricultural, aquatic and forestry resources, or even municipal waste. This can include crops grown as alternatives to petroleum-based products, such as corn for ethanol, or using waste like stems and leaves to produce bioproducts such as packaging.

With the Government of Canada’s investment, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada will work with Biomass Quality Network Canada to develop research-based standards for measuring and assessing the quality of bioproducts made from agricultural sources. This will help producers better understand the quality standards needed to market raw materials to processors, and in turn, equip processors with more information and educational tools to assure their customers that bioproducts can replace traditional materials in terms of quality and performance.

“The bioeconomy will allow us to maximize the use of our agricultural resources, including leftover byproducts. By adding value to products once considered to be waste, and ensuring the quality of these bioproducts through strict quality standards, we will help strengthen Canada’s position as a leader in sustainable agriculture while creating new revenue sources for our agricultural producers,” Marie-Claude Bibeau , Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said.

To strengthen the bioproducts industry in Canada, the project will also help scientists continue to explore plant genetics and environmental factors that could lead to the development of new crop varieties to supply bioproducts production.

Canada is playing a major role in addressing climate change. A strong bioeconomy can help by replacing non-renewable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals and industrial materials with greener alternatives, while finding new uses for waste. Bioproducts also create valuable new opportunities for Canadian farmers, with the sector generating about $4.3 billion in sales each year.

“A vibrant, maturing Canadian bioproducts industry has incredible potential to be a world leader when supports are in place from a reliable, robust, consistent supply of biomass and, through the support of AAFC, the Biomass Quality Network Canada (BQNC) is being established to make this a reality. Accelerating the adoption of Canadian agricultural biomass through the development of standards, methods and guidelines has been the focus of BQNC, alongside the provision of value-added services, and management and monitoring of a certification system,” AJ (Sandy) Marshallexecutive director, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, said.

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