Ontario's Bio Advantage Sector Profile
Spotlight on Biomaterials
Biomaterials are processed or engineered products obtained partially or fully from renewable biobased resources, including:
Ontario's Biomaterials Advantage
Market demand and access to major markets
Extensive manufacturing capacity
Highly skilled workforce
Extensive research capacity
Biomaterials and the Automotive Industry
Biomaterials are attracting strong interest in the Ontario automotive industry. Research and development underway at Ontario institutions includes:
The Ontario Biocar initiative (2006-2011), a multi-university project involving scientists at the universities of Guelph, Toronto, Waterloo and Windsor, in collaboration with the industry partner Ford Motor Company, developed the world's first wheat and plastic composite car component, first used in 2010 Ford Flex models - a significant success story for Ontario's bio-based material research to commercialization in the automotive industry.
The Ontario Biomaterials "A team" assembled by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and the Ontario Centres of Excellence is a consortium of ten internationally recognized scientists from seven Ontario universities: University of Guelph, Queen's University, University of Windsor, McMaster University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and, Trent University. The "A-team", each with unique skills, expertise and world-class equipment in the development, processing and optimization of biomaterials, aim to collaborate to help Canadian companies bring their innovative bioproducts to market faster.
The BDDC is available to companies, entrepreneurs, research organizations as a partner and ally in biomaterials projects and products. Research is focused on the bioeconomy related to biobased materials, biofuels and biorefinery, including:
Research is focused on:
Biomaterial Industry Success
The following are examples of some Ontario companies that use biobased products in their manufacturing process and/or prepare biobased materials.
GreenCore Composites - a spin-off company from the University of Toronto to commercialize natural-fibre composites technology. The company's NCellTM natural fibre reinforced composites are used in the manufacture of automotive, furniture, toys, consumer and other industrial products.
Enviroshake - manufacturer of environmentally-friendly, cedar-like composite shake roof shingles. Enviroshake shingles are an alternative to asphalt, cedar, pine, metal (steel/ aluminum) and other premium roofing products. Made from 95 per cent recycled materials, the Enviroshake can be recycled (again) into new shakes.
Woodbridge Group - global leader in the development and production of polyurethane technologies and products for automotive applications. The company is researching and commercializing Bio-Foam, a renewable soy-based polyol. Soy polyols, a key ingredient in polyurethane material, is used in automotive seats and interior pieces.
Competitive Green Technologies - Competitive Green Technologies commercializes green technologies and has an exclusive license from the University of Guelph using their recently developed, proprietary compounding technology, which enables the manufacture of biocomposite resins. These resins are made by compounding non-food and non-forest crops of biomass, such as miscanthus, and post-industrial agricultural plastics and are used to manufacture commercial products such as eco flower pots and bio-bins. These products are marketed across North America at major retail stores, such as the Home Hardware, Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Kroger.
More about Ontario's Bio Advantage: