Canada’s first national Bioeconomy Strategy, released today by Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, reflects the views of more than 400 industry representatives from across the country.
The Strategy recommends action on four key priority areas identified in foundational work by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the Economic Sector Strategy Tables, and Canada’s forestry ministers. These priority areas are:
- Creating agile regulation and government policy;
- Establishing biomass supply and stewardship;
- Building strong companies and value chains; and
- Building strong sustainable innovation ecosystems.
Consultations with industry concluded a national Strategy is needed to fully advance Canada’s bioeconomy. The Strategy recognizes the role of innovation clusters and ecosystems as key to advancing Canada’s bioeconomy. These venues will facilitate relationships between producers, SMEs, and large firms along the full value chain, domestically and globally.
With this Strategy, industry has addressed the ways in which Canada’s competitive advantages including access to biomass, global leadership in forestry and agriculture, sustainable resource management, and a skilled workforce, can make Canada a world leader.
The recommendations focus on commercializing innovations to grow larger companies, and to have Canadian products and processes adopted into international value chains. The recommendations support the development of innovation ecosystems across Canada. The recommendations call on the government to introduce policies, regulation and support for companies and the agriculture and forestry sectors to adopt practices and new technologies that improve stewardship of natural resources and increase productivity.
Canada is one of only a few countries without a bioeconomy strategy. A recent international overview produced by the German Bioeconomy Council shows Canada as having no dedicated strategy. In a world looking for alternatives to reduce fossil fuel dependence, and to address food shortages and resource depletion, the technologies and products of the bioeconomy can offer solutions.
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, BIOTECanada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, and FPInnovations – the organizations that undertook these consultations – intend to work within their networks to implement the Strategy’s recommendations. The recommendations will guide the work of these organizations with industry and with government. BIC and its partners will report on the progress in implementing the recommendations.
The industry members of Canada’s bioeconomy include biomass producers and processors, and manufacturing companies producing bioenergy, biofuels, biochemicals, biomaterials, and consumer products. In 2015, Canadian companies transformed more than 21 million metric tonnes of agricultural and forestry biomass into bioproducts. These transformations created approximately $4.27 B in revenues.
The full report is also available at: https://www.bincanada.ca/biodesign
Questions and comments respecting Canada’s Bioeconomy Strategy should be directed to Sandy Marshall, Executive Director, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to our sponsor Agriculture and Agri-food Canada; our partners BIOTECanada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, and FP Innovations; and our supporters BC Bioenergy, BioAlberta, Ag-West Bio, Bioscience Association Manitoba, Manitoba Agriculture, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Consortium de recherche et innovations en bioprocédés industriels au Québec, BioNB, and Nova Scotia Innovation Hub. We also acknowledge the 400 industry and bioeconomy representatives that took part in the consultations and whose generous input is at the core of the recommendations.
 An Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food System, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2017)