Ontario's Bio Advantage
Bioeconomy Research and Innovation
Ontario is home to outstanding research and educational institutions.
More than $14 billion in research and development happens every
year in Ontario through the efforts of public and private sector
researchers. Eighteen of Canada's top 50 research universities are
in Ontario, making it widely recognized for excellence. The province's
multi-billion dollar research funding programs attract leading scientists
from around the world.
Over half of those universities are directly involved in building
Ontario's bioproduct capacity in research and innovation, through
collaborative projects across the province. Several regional organizations
have formed in the past decade to promote innovation in different
areas of the bioeconomy.
The Ontario Network of Entepreneurs (ONE) - funded by the Ministry
of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure/ Ministry
of Research and Innovation is a regional network of 90 centres that
provide advice and support for entrepreneurs who want to start and
grow successful businesses. The Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE)
and MaRS are part of ONE and work side by side with industry to
deliver innovations to the global market. Many companies working
in the bioeconomy sector benefit from interactions with the members
Significant investments are flowing through the Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)/University of Guelph
Agreement to support agri-food industry priorities and collaboration
between the industry and academic institutions. OMAFRA invested
more than $350 million (over five years starting in 2008) through
this partnership agreement which is dedicated to demand-driven agri-food
and rural research and supporting agrifood research infrastructure.
A significant portion of this funding supports efforts in the bioeconomy
including projects under the Ministry themes of Bioeconomy-Industrial
Uses; Environmental Sustainability; Agriculture and Rural Policy;
Product Development and Enhancement through Value Chains; and Production
In addition to the partnership agreement with University of Guelph,
OMAFRA invests in research at other institutions through open competitive
funding programs like the New Directions Research Program.
Public and private sector interest in bioresearch is driving attention
and innovation across Ontario in bioproducts (materials, energy
and chemicals) and components along the bioeconomy value chain (feedstock
production, primary processing and manufacturing of bioproducts).
An ever-growing number of companies - new and established from
other manufacturing sectors - are also developing innovative products
and processes with Ontario's abundant feedstock, highly educated
and skilled workforce, and easy access to supply chains and markets.
They all recognize the tremendous and timely opportunities with
Ontario's emerging bioeconomy, and the importance of this sector
for global environmental and economic well-being. While private
research and development (R&D) investment is significant, the
focus of this document is on publicly funded capacity in the province
Ontario's innovation capacity - recent and ongoing investments
- $14 billion - in research and development happens every year
in Ontario through the efforts of public and private sector researchers
- $350 million - OMAFRA's five year investment (2008-2013) in
agri-food and rural research at the University of Guelph
- $4.25 million -expansion to the Bioproducts Discovery and Development
Centre in Guelph, opened November 2013
- $7 million over four years - federal funding (20142018)
received by the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sarnia
for a national bioproducts cluster to help bridge the gap between
research and market-ready products
- $16 million over five years - funding received by the Agri-Technology
Commercialization Centre to support development and commercialization
- 18 - number of Canada's top 50 research universities located
in Ontario, 10 of which contributed to bioproduct research and
Powering Ontario's Bioproduct Development - Research Centres
In Ontario, the emerging bioeconomy has established a firm foothold
through a diverse range of research centres - each bringing a strength
and speciality for its geographic region or industry sector. Together,
these groups are powering tremendous research and innovation in
Ontario's bioeconomy. Below are a few examples of bioproducts-focused
research and innovation centres in Ontario.
and Development Centre (BDDC), University of Guelph
- Interdisciplinary centre where plant biologists, chemists and
engineers collaborate to investigate and commercialize biomaterials
- Unique Ontario facility brings industry and university-based
researchers together to explore new materials and processing techniques
- especially valuable for automotive, packaging and building material
- BDDC innovations help Canada grow its bioeconomy, and help companies
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and overall environmental footprint
- Received $4.25 million in 2013 for expansion of the centre from
the Bank of Montreal, Federal Economic Development Agency for
Southern Ontario, and OMAFRA, as well as previous funding from
Premier's Research Chair, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI),
and the Ontario Research Fund-Research Infrastructure program
- Hosted the 13th International Symposium on Bioplastics, Biocomposites
and Biorefining in 2014
- Offers an extensive array of services for companies interested
in: bioplastics and biobased polymers; green composites, natural
fibre; composites and biocomposites; sustainable packaging; biobased
nanocomposites and nanoblends; lignin-reinforced thermoplastics
and thermosetting polymer composites; biobased materials from
the co-products of biofuel industries; biomass and biomaterials
sustainability and recyclables, durability and biodegradability
Research Program, Trent University
- A $3-million Senior Industrial Research Chair, focused on biomaterials,
and funded from NSERC, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. and Ontario
Grain Farmers in the year 2010.
- Additional laboratory infrastructure funding provided by the
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
- Focus on using vegetable oils (soybean, canola, flax, corn,
jatropha, palm) to synthesize functional polymers (for use as
coatings, biomedical delivery systems and other specialized polymers),
lubricants, greases and waxes, for the delivery of bioactive compounds
and fertilizers, and crystallized networks of lipids for use as
healthy food materials.
Institute for Chemicals and Fuels
from Alternative Resources (ICFAR), University of Western Ontario
- Fundamental and applied research and development for producing
renewable fuels and chemicals, heavy oil conversion and sustainable
- Helping move research from lab bench to pilot plant/ demonstration
project - and facilitate technology transfer and commercialization
- $5 million investment by Ontario in 2008 established 20,000
square foot research centre in London.
Ontario Genomics Institute
- A private, not-for-profit corporation focused on using world-class
research to create strategic genomics resources and accelerate
Ontario's development of a globally-competitive life sciences
- Since inception, OGI has worked with some 67 projects funded
through various research programs and covering a broad spectrum
of genomics applications, with budgets totalling over $800 million.
Research Initiative at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay
- Focusing on biorefining forest biomass through bioconversion,
chemical conversion and forest microbiota
- Developing new technologies to create products from renewable
forest biomass in a sustainable manner
- Encouraging new business ventures and employment through biorefinery
processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on
Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo
- An interdisciplinary centre of excellence pioneering high impact
research and innovation in nanotechnology including nano-materials,
nano-electronics, nano-instrumentation and nano-biosystems.
Commercialization Support for Excellence in Bioeconomy
Ontario attracts many unique groups to help manufacturers and researchers
to bring innovative new biobased products to market. Some of these
groups offer commercialization and innovation support and expert
advice, others provide funding support and play a coordination role
while others offer pilot plant and technology demonstration facilities.
- Supports development and commercialization of bioproducts through
organizations that work with producers, researchers and agricultural
- Includes BioEnterprise, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and Soy
20/20 - groups that support companies at various stages along
the innovation chain
- Funded by more than $15 million through Growing Forward 2 initiatives
(federal and provincial funding) to make Ontario's agriculture
industry more innovative, competitive and profitable by commercializing
new agricultural products.
BioEnterprise - a private,
non-profit commercialization agent working with companies from start
up and early stage, to emerging and well-established businesses.
Services include business planning through to attracting early stage
venture capital investment. BioEnterprise is a registered Limited
Market Dealer, licensed under the Ontario Securities Commission.
Ontario Agri-Food Technologies
- a non-profit organization offering leadership to help companies
use technology to generate wealth and sustainability for the agricultural
and food industries of Ontario.
Soy 20/20 - a not-for-profit
organization connecting government, academic and industry partners
to stimulate and seize new global bioscience opportunities for Canadian
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada
- Helping Canada become a globally recognized leader in turning
renewable, sustainable feedstock (agricultural and forestry by-products
and wastes) into energy and value-added chemicals for use in applications
ranging from construction to automotive parts
- $7 million in funding from the federal government to form a
national bioproducts cluster (2014)
- $50 million initial investment - $10 million from Ontario, $15
million from the Government of Canada and $25 million leveraged
from other sources including industry, institutions and municipalities
- Creating North America's first biotechnology laboratories and
shared pilot plant facilities for gasification, pyrolysis, fermentation
and bioconversion - key technologies to convert agricultural and
forestry by-products into fuels, chemicals, products and materials
- Located at the Sarnia Lambton Campus of the University of Western
Ontario Research Park
- BIC manages the Ontario
Sustainable Chemistry Alliance Fund
- Serves the emerging new industry in Canada, bridging the gap
between biochemistry and synthetic chemistry and offers funding
for high potential emerging innovations and breakthroughs in the
Centre for Research and Innovation
in the Bioeconomy (CRIBE), Thunder Bay
- Provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry
in Northern Ontario
- Not-for-profit research corporation partnering with organizations
to direct research results and innovative business opportunities
into operational reality
- Provincial government 2008 budget announcement of a $25 million
investment over four years to move Ontario to the forefront of
commercialization in the forest products industry.
Green Centre Canada
- GreenCentre, located at Innovation Park at Queen's University
in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, is a member of the Ontario Network
of Excellence (ONE) and the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization
and Research (CECR)
- Objective is to commercialize green chemistry innovations emerging
from academia and the entrepreneurial community and get them to
industry and to the market.
- Formed in 2009 and funded by the governments of Ontario and
Canada, and industry
- The Centre's product and application development activities
are housed in a 10,000 square foot facility dominated by state-of-the-art
wet labs with solvent-handling systems, inert atmosphere glove
boxes and standard analytical equipment.
Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs
(ONE) and Ontario Centre
of Excellence (OCE)
- A network of organizations spread across the province that can
provide a range of customized resources, services and programs
for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes
- In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize
innovation originating in the province's publicly funded colleges,
universities and research hospitals. OCE will support and invest
in early-stage projects, where the probability of commercial success
and potential total return on innovation are substantial. Development
of the next generation of innovators through entrepreneurship
fellowships and programs for students and youth across Ontario
is another growing area of activity for OCE.
for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES),
Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph
- Creating an applied research and demonstration facility for
full testing and integration of new technologies - to deliver
direct benefits at the farm gate
- Hub for applied and adaptive research, training and education,
technology transfer, and rural community development in bioenergy
and the bioeconomy
- Advancing innovation and adoption of bioenergy through minimizing
risk, benchmarking and creating value-added components
- Received $900,000 from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Advancing
Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Program to support research
and innovation at CARES.
Canada Backs Ontario's Bio Advantage with Research Capacity
Canada invests significant funding to retain and attract world-class
researchers across a broad spectrum of research and development.
The Canada Research Chairs Program provides substantial funding
to create mini centres of excellence around the world-class expertise
of one or more academics at an institution. Further funding for
infrastructure to support Chairs is available through the Canada
Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The Research Chairs Program builds
key human resources and signals the research strength and support
by Ontario and Canada for bioresearch.
In 2014, there were over 600 Canada Research Chairs at 19 universities
in Ontario - and many of these chairs are relevant to the bioeconomy
and agricultural bioresearch and development.
Ontario is home to several federal government labs and research
centres situated across the province with capacity that can support
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
The Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre (SCPFRC)
in London, Ontario is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada's (AAFC) national network of 19 research centres. The
centre conducts research on crop genomics, bioproducts, and biopesticides.
AAFC conducts research in plant genetics at the Eastern Cereal
and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC) in Ottawa. In collaboration
with national and international public and private sector organizations,
the centre's research positions Canada as the world leader in food
safety, innovation and environmentally responsible agricultural
production. ECORC's primary focus is not on bioproducts, but its
work represents a significant resource in genetic bioresources.
AAFC's Guelph Food Research Centre is conducting research on novel
bioprocesses for separating and modifying agricultural and agri-food
products that will have enhanced properties and commercial potential.
They are also characterizing and identifying agricultural bioproducts
for human, animal and industrial applications.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
NRCan has bioenergy research at their Canmet-ENERGY
Technology Centre in Ottawa - a Canadian leader in clean energy
research and technology development.
More than 450 scientists, engineers and technicians with more than
100 years of experience at Canmet represent Canada's knowledge centre
for scientific expertise on clean energy technologies.
- Ensuring Canada is at the leading edge of clean energy technologies
to reduce air and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the health
- Leaders in science and technology delivery within the federal
government, serving as a provider and catalyst for a sustainable
energy future for Canada
- Managing science and technology programs and services, support
the development of energy policy, codes and regulations, act as
a window to federal financing - and working with partners to develop
more energy efficient and cleaner technologies.
National Research Council (NRC)
NRC offers programs and collaboration opportunities in two areas
related to the bioeconomy:
- Bioenergy systems for viable stationary applications; and
- Industrial biomaterials.
NRC has research facilities in Ontario and Quebec that are working
in these areas. NRC partners and clients have access to industrial
biomaterials research and technology development facilities, located
from coast to coast.
Ontario: Open for Bio Innovation Business
Ontario is leading the new bioeconomy in Canada. With decades of
ground work building an extensive portfolio of research facilities
and education institutions, Ontario has created the foundation for
an integrated, innovative biobased economy. We have the rich and
diverse resource base, the ideas and innovation, the infrastructure
and the human resource capacity. Join the powerhouse that is Ontario
- and discover the endless opportunities for bioproducts and bioprocesses
in bioenergy, biomaterials and biochemistry.
More about Ontario's Bio Advantage:
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