Conference to accelerate bioeconomy development for B.C.’s forest sector
May 3, 2023
By B.C. Ministry of Forests
British Columbia’s forest sector is set to benefit from the Forest Innovation and Bioeconomy Conference (FIBC), to be held from June 19-21 in Vancouver.
The FIBC, organized by the Innovation, Bioeconomy and Indigenous Opportunities branch (IBIO) in the provincial Ministry of Forests, will present the global scientific, technological, and business landscape to nurture forest bioeconomy development in British Columbia. The conference highlights a broad range of topics including innovation research and development, bioproduct commercialization, bioeconomy cluster development, and Indigenous community bioeconomy development. The event is expected to bring together a broad range of attendees from forest companies, bioproduct startups, government, research institutes, Indigenous communities, and media, to inspire research and business ideas, facilitate collaboration, and exchange information on forest bioeconomy development.
The forest bioeconomy has experienced steady growth in recent years, driven by the global demand for sustainable and renewable products. This growth has been fostered by the shift from petroleum-based products to forest biomass as a source of commodities to reduce the carbon footprint. According to industry analysis, the global market for forest bioproducts including advanced biomaterials, biochemicals, biofuels, and bioenergy is expected to reach $670 billion by 2030. The share of advanced biomaterials and biochemicals is expected to grow significantly and account for 41 per cent of the global market value of the bioeconomy: 13 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively. These trends are expected to continue past 2030 with advanced biomaterials and biochemicals becoming the dominant players in the bioeconomy as more fossil fuel-based chemicals and materials are replaced. This forecasted demand, combined with the increasing emphasis on sustainability and carbon reduction, presents a significant opportunity for the forest sector to capitalize on the production of high-value forest bioproducts.
The BC Ministry of Forests is committed to delivering on forest sector transformation. The shift from high volume to high value products is integral. Forest bioproducts are among the highest value commodities produced from forest resources, and can greatly increase forest fibre utilization. British Columbia is home to some of the world’s highest quality forest biomass, making it well-placed to become a leader in developing and manufacturing high-value forest bioproducts, which will bring diversification to the forest sector and create employment opportunities to support our families.
The FIBC, held in collaboration with the University of British Columbia’s BioProducts Institute, Foresight Canada, and FPInnovations, has attracted renowned keynote speakers. Representatives from leading organizations worldwide, including Metsä Spring (Finland), Spinnova (Finland), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Paper Province (Sweden), Scion (New Zealand), Suzano, West Fraser, the BioProducts Institute of UBC, BC Pulp and Paper BioAlliance, and Bio-Industrial Innovation Canada, will present or participate in panel discussions. FIBC will run back-to-back with the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry’s Nano Conference, which will take place from June 12 to 16 in Vancouver.
“The FIBC is an excellent opportunity to bring together industry, government, and First Nations to explore how we can work together to accelerate the growth of BC’s forest bioeconomy,” according to Honourable Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s Minister of Forests, “We’re excited to continue to drive innovation and economic development in the province. The presence of the Swedish Ambassador and other foreign representatives underscores the importance of developing sustainable and innovative solutions for the forest sector, not only in B.C. but worldwide.”
The conference will also host an International Innovation Day on June 21, which will feature a delegation from Sweden, led by Ambassador Urban Ahlin, as well as representatives from Finland. The event will provide an opportunity for the B.C. government and industry to share information, help BC’s Indigenous communities develop business opportunities, and build partnerships among participants.
For more information and to register for the FIBC, visit www.forbio.ca.
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