The Ontario government says it will invest $3 million over four years in Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, a Sarnia-based accelerator focused on the bio-economy that is headquartered at the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park.
Last week’s announcement by Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation Ontario, was intended to raise the profile of the investment, which was included in the provincial budget released earlier this year. Moridi said the new Centre of Excellence for the Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovations is expected to help create 400 high-value jobs.
It is also intended to strengthen the province’s industrial competitiveness, raising the profile of Ontario when it comes to biotechnology innovation.
“The move to a bioeconomy is inevitable,” said Moridi.“It’s going to happen and it’s happening.”
Biotechnology and the bioeconomy refer to using organic materials for energy and for producing chemicals, replacing fossil fuel processes and significantly reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.
The centre being funded will focus on bridging critical gaps and addressing commercialization challenges faced by the biotechnology sector, including developing expertise, forging commercial partnerships, and accessing risk-capital to help bring discoveries and technologies from the lab to the marketplace.
Murray McLaughlin, executive director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, said partnering with the Ontario government provides “a strong link between concept and commerce in the bioeconomy.”
He expects to see “real, lasting, positive effects on the economy of the region and Ontario.”