Dec. 18, 2009, Thunder Bay, ON – A new partnership has been created between the
Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) and FPInnovations
to facilitate the transformation of the Ontario forest sector through the
adoption of innovative technologies related to the forest bioeconomy. The new
partnership will promote the development of innovative technologies that use
renewable resources such as trees and forest bioresiduals. It will use existing
infrastructure and engage industrial partners in developing biorefinery pilot
plants to evaluate promising technologies and concepts and validate ideas
relevant to the bioeconomy. It supports the pre-commercial demonstration of
bioeconomy technologies with a view to attracting new entrants related to the
emerging forest-based bioeconomy to northern Ontario. The new partnership will
also engage universities and colleges more systematically in the pursuit and
delivery of an innovation agenda for the forest sector, including the creation
of a skilled workforce to support bioeconomy initiatives.
"This shared funding agreement will allow proponents to move research findings and
innovative business ideas quickly into commercial products and processes to
assist in the generation of wealth and jobs to the economy of northern
Ontario," says CRIBE Chairman Frank Dottori.
"There is a significant opportunity to move products derived from the forest up the
product value chain, using our forest fibre to produce higher value, novel
products while reducing costs of manufacture for the more traditional forest
products," says Lorne Morrow, CEO of CRIBE.
In partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), FPInnovations will
contribute equally with CRIBE to the funding required to establish new
scientific and technical capacity to support the pre-commercial demonstration
of promising technologies related to the forest bioeconomy in northern Ontario.
Under this agreement, each of the parties will contribute up to $1 million per
year for the next four years to establish this capacity. In addition, the
parties in conjunction with their respective government partners, NRCan and the
Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, will provide up to $20 million in
funding over the next four years towards pre-commercial demonstration projects
of promising technologies for northern Ontario.
"This innovative approach is geared towards developing new scientific and technical
capacity using forest biomass, pilot plant capabilities, and pre-commercial
demonstration projects in northern Ontario,” says Pierre Lapointe, president
and CEO of FPInnovations. “The engineering and technical studies are focussed
on three alternatives: lignin, methanol, and hemicellulose. Our aim is to
identify technical and business challenges around extracting and reusing these