By Maria Church
Aug. 16, 2018 - Scaling Up Bio, Ottawa’s annual conference on strategies to scale up the industrial bioeconomy in Canada, is returning to the capital Nov. 5-7 with a new format that allows more time for Q&A and discussion.
Conference chair Jeff Passmore has arranged plenary sessions that give speakers just three minutes to share their message, leaving plenty of time for a healthy panel and audience dialogue.
“One of the comments we’ve had in the past is to increase time for discussion and Q&A. Three minutes really forces a person to focus their message. Each panel should then have at least 20 minutes left over for Q&A,” Passmore says.
Over three days, 50 Canadian and international speakers will cover the bioenergy, biofuel, bioproducts and biochemical sectors. The conference will not only hear from commercial producers, but also large industrial customers.
“In the past we’ve had technology providers discussing the pathways, and we have at least 10 of those coming, but we also have customers coming – companies like Shell, SkyNRG out of the Netherlands, and the steel industry. These are companies looking for ways to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint,” Passmore says.
Keynote speakers will include Christopher Regan, chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, who will discuss the use of carbon tax to drive substitution, as well as David Golden, senior vice-president for chemical producer Eastman. Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May is also back by popular demand.
Julie Gelfand, commissioner of the environment and sustainable development for the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, will also be presenting a keynote.
This year the conference will include a panel on the circular economy, which Passmore says is an important addition. “Just because something is bio-based, doesn’t mean it’s sustainable. It has to be circular. We’re having speakers dealing with the need for the bioeconomy to be a subset of the circular economy,” he says.
Find a list of speakers and a working agenda at www.scalingupconference.ca. Register before Oct. 5 to receive the early-bird rate of $575.