Bio-industry companies are at the leading edge of sustainable science and innovation. These businesses develop agricultural or forestry by-products/waste and transform them into valuable chemical additives that can be used for a range of products such as bio-fuels, plastic packaging, or even automotive parts.
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) is an organization who focuses on helping Canadian businesses develop and commercialize sustainable technologies. Since 2008 BIC has helped secure new investments for bio-based economy businesses starting or expanding their operations.
BIC recently received $12 million in Canadian government funding through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Regional Diversification (IRD) program. This funding will support the organization’s continued support of early-stage to experienced businesses who are commercializing new clean technologies.
Canadian Government Funding for the Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovations
With the Government of Canada’s $12 million investment, BIC will support the Centre for the Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovations, located at Western University’s Sarnia-Lambton Research Park. Since 2008, the Centre has been helping bioindustrial businesses commercialize clean technologies through funding and support services.
The investment will enhance the ability of Canadian businesses to move beyond petroleum and petrochemicals and use a greater amount of sustainable resources. This will help Canada become leaders in the bio-industrial and clean technology development industries.
Strategic Investments for Canada’s Knowledge-Based Economy
The Government of Canada is making consistent investments into the country’s knowledge-based economy. There are three main areas of investment that the government is actively pursuing, including:
Promoting an Innovative Ecosystem
The Canadian government believes that industrial hubs produce greater technological innovations than a well-dispersed business community. Innovative technology-based businesses can collaborate with other companies to solve bigger problems in less time, ultimately leading to more opportunities for those businesses to grow.
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada will access the $12 million to strengthen southern Ontario’s bio-industry, including Sarnia-Lambton region’s Centre for the Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovations.
Promoting Environmental Sustainability
The Government of Canada is also making ambitious strides to reach the country’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction goals. In order to do this, the government has identified the need for technological intervention that reduces how many GHGs are produced.
By investing in bio-technology development projects, Canadian businesses will consistently be ahead of international competitors when it comes to using high-efficiency, sustainable products or processes. Not only does this benefit the environment within Canada, but it creates demand for Canadian-made technologies.
Promoting Technology Commercialization
At its root, the Canadian government’s $12 million investment in Bioindustrial Innovation Canada is about commercializing new technologies (both nationally and abroad) researched, developed, and produced in Canada. The economic impact created through strategic investments will help companies perform critical research and development activities, then overcome the commercialization barrier.
Through the commercialization of new clean technologies, Canadian businesses will have the opportunity to solve environmental issues globally. This could mean cleaning polluted air in Asia or cleaning polluted water from the world’s oceans. These solutions, so critically needed in modern society, provide lucrative opportunities to companies who can discover and apply them.
Clean Technology Grants for Small Businesses
Small businesses may also benefit from a collection of government research and development grants to help them commercialize sustainable technologies. Some of the programs currently available include:
- CME SMART Green: Launching in October 2016, the CME SMART Green program will provide Ontario government grants to manufacturers who are adopting technologies that increase productivity while also reducing emissions. Up to 50% of project expenses may be recovered to a maximum $200k per facility.
- SD Tech Fund: Canadian government grants can support development and commercialization activities associated with bringing new sustainable energy technologies to market. SD Tech Fund cleantech grants may support up to 33% of project expenses to a maximum $15 million.
- IRAP ARP: The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides Canadian government grants for a wide range of businesses performing research and development activities. IRAP ARP grants provide up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum $50,000 in funding to cover internal and third-party labour fees associated with the research project.