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The Atlantic Biorefinery Conference is always growing! Attendance for this year's conference is capped at under 200 due to venue capacity, and tickets sales have crept up on us!
We're over half sold out of General Admission Passes! This is exciting news for the organizers as we're thrilled to see growing demand for the conference and growing engagement in the industry.
There is more support than ever for new (and old) companies as collaboration is becoming the norm and governments are realizing the economic and environmental promise of the bioeconomy.
Engage with the biorefining community and the bioeconomy movement at the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference!
BioNB's Meaghan Seagrave talks bioeconomy in New Brunswick.
Read the full story at Huddle.Today
The story of New Brunswick is the same as many rural areas in the world – with taxpayer funds that are stretched thinly to support isolated communities and seasonal or commodity industries facing challenging economic pressures.
Everyone talks about the next “boom,” as if a single industry is going to fly in and save the day. Look to other Canadian regions and you’ll discover that a single industry saviour isn’t the solution. What happens when you put all your eggs in one basket, as in Alberta, where the entire economy plummets from a drop in the price of one commodity. What happens when that player gets up and leaves? Look to Southern Ontario, teetering on hard times as GM and Ford move manufacturing to the US and Mexico.
New Brunswick’s rise won’t be based on a “boom” industry and nor should it be. Prosperity will come from the successful marriage of old industry and new; an inter-connected economy that asks for the best from our researchers, visionaries, engineers, communicators; and from our farmers, fishers, and foresters.
I’m talking, of course, about the green economy. The Bioeconomy. The bio-based economy. Whatever buzz word suits you.
What is the Bioeconomy?
“Bioeconomy” refers to the set of economic activities relating to the investment, development, production and use of biological products and processes in a sustainable way. A successful bioeconomy is built on the back of a region’s natural resources, which are processed and transformed into high value products like medicine, bioplastic, biofuel, and electricity. Consider LaForge Bioenvironmental of Saint-André New Brunswick, a dairy farm and biogas facility that is turning cow manure and potato scraps into clean energy and nutrient-rich fertilizer. The transformation is performed by two anaerobic digesters that are generating enough electricity to power their entire operation and 1,000 homes in the area.
The Netherlands is a great example of a region transitioning from a fossil fuel based economy to a bioeconomy in order to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, meet greenhouse gas emission targets, and strengthen their economy as a whole. They have developed a comprehensive political and economic outlook that is projected to result in a total renewable energy share of 50%-60%. Their outlook calls for strategic investments in bio-based production systems, and strong incentives and policies that will enable the sector to grow at pace.
Why Develop a Bioeconomy?Why would a region move toward a bio-based economy?
(1) Resilient and diversified
Economies buoyed by a single industry or commodity are at the mercy of market fluctuations. A bio-based economy is a broad economy that requires skills and solutions from manufacturing, engineering, agriculture, transportation, information technology, biotech, and support and service industries. The bioeconomy reduces greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to energy security, and grows the agriculture, chemical and energy sectors.
(2) Creates High and Low Skilled Jobs
The bioeconomy is built from the ground up. It employs a diverse workforce: everyone from harvesters to sales-people, manufacturing, skilled trades, lab technicians, PhD researchers, and the software developers creating tech solutions to connect these companies in the 21st century.
(3) Environmentally Sustainable
A bio-based economy creates products and solutions that reduce our dependency on petroleum-based products. The future is a world that uses fuel, materials, and chemicals made from renewable resources and waste from other processes.
(4) Capitalizes and develops our region’s natural competencies
New Brunswick’s history is built on 150 years of experience innovating in our traditional sectors of forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries. The bioeconomy will require us to build on this experience and innovate with modern solutions.
The Good News for New Brunswick
The best part? New Brunswick has everything it needs to become a bio-based economy and a leader in bio-based business and research. We already have 14 research institutions and 111 companies working and innovating in the biosciences. The region is waking up the opportunity in the bioeconomy, with over $60 million in investments in forestry biotech, agritech, medtech and other technologies since 2012.
We have what it takes to attract big business, sprout new ventures, and create jobs and prosperity. What we need are policies and private-sector investment to push the opportunity forward. Citizens can make change by seizing the business opportunity for themselves.
Citizens can make change by seizing the business opportunity for themselves. New Brunswick is punching above its weight when it comes to helping people start businesses – that’s the whole “innovation ecosystem” people keep talking about.
Let’s make the bioeconomy more than just a buzz word – let’s make it our future.
When it comes to starting a business for the bioeconomy, BioNB is the one-stop-shop for new entrepreneurs and established small and medium enterprises. Our team is diverse and has backgrounds in business development, marketing, biology, chemistry, IT, international trade, and we want to help you.
Visit us at BioNB.org and contact our team to access our business services.
Learn about cutting edge technologies and meet the Atlantic bioscience community at the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference, coming to Halifax May 30th – June 1st.
A disruptive technology that eliminates the need for landfills will soon be operational on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, according to Peter Vinall, CEO of Chester-based Sustane Technologies Inc.
Sustane has developed technology that allows solid waste destined for landfills to be made into clean and valuable products such as fuel pellets.
The Sustane facility to be built near the Chester landfill at Kaizer Meadow will divert over 90 per cent of material away from the landfill.
Vinall said the Sustane technology is unlike other techniques that create biomass from waste because it lowers contamination by plastics to a negligible 0.1 per cent.
Such a low point of contamination means the products have commercial value.
“This is the first technology that can take raw garbage destined for landfill and separate it into clean products,” said Vinall, who has worked around the world in the bio-energy and pulp and paper industries.
Sustane was the overall winner in the 2016 I-3 Technology Start-up Competition, the biennial contest run by Innovacorp, which recognizes the best new innovative business in Nova Scotia.
The company’s winnings totaled $225,000.
“The win brings money which is always important, but more than that is the validation,” said Vinall, whose previous roles include president and CEO of the AV Group in New Brunswick.
The Sustane core technology was developed by the company’s second co-founder and chief technology officer Javier De La Fuente of Spain.
Vinall and De La Fuente met three years ago. “I was looking for something like this and what he was doing was amazing. When we combined this with a new cleaning idea we had the complete solution….” Vinall said.
The pair founded Sustane in 2014 with chief financial officer Robert Richardson, an accountant and businessman.
Work on the $15 million Chester plant will begin this spring.
Click here to read the full story.
The West Fraser Timber Co.’s pulp mill in central Alberta has begun making more than just wood pulp for paper.
The forest products company has completed work on Canada’s first commercial-scale lignin recovery plant, which is designed to extract a natural wood byproduct called lignin and repurpose it for use in a range of new value-added products.
“Foresters have long been searching for ways to put lignin to better use,” Steve Price, CEO of one of the project’s funders, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, said. “The ability to recover lignin and transform it into green bioproducts will add more value to an abundant Alberta biomass and contribute to the provincial economy in a sustainable way,”
Along with a $3 million contribution from AI Bio, the $30 million plant received funding from the federal government through Natural Resources Canada and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, as well as from West Fraser itself. The facility is one of many examples of a Canadian company leveraging a sustainable material to create products that reduce the overall economy’s reliance on coal, crude oil and natural gas.
Read the full story at CanadianManufacturing.com.
Benchmark tests prove higher volumes than initial forecast; plant receives “Recommended” rating after first customer audit
In Montana, Rivertop Renewables, a Montana-based novel chemicals company, announced it exceeded the nameplate capacity of its first commercial production facility during benchmark testing. At full capacity the plant, operated by DTI in Danville, Virginia, is now capable of producing more than 9 million dry pounds of sodium glucarate product per year, an increase of approximately 15 percent over original design projections. Additionally, last month the plant received its first supplier “Recommended” rating in a quality and supply chain audit by a leading water treatment industry customer.
“Construction, start up and full-capacity runs at the DTI facility have gone extremely well,” said Mike Knauf, chief executive officer of Rivertop. “The pace of our efforts is proving not only the breakthrough efficiency of Rivertop’s technology, but also the low capex requirements for our proprietary manufacturing process.”
The capacity at the DTI facility will allow Rivertop to expand sales of its existing products as well as provide customers quantities suitable for joint development and testing. The success of this facility is the first step and Rivertop plans to build additional plants to transform renewable plant sugars into a variety of sustainable, cost-competitive chemical products. Click here to read more
Cellufuel Inc. has received $2,152,693 funding from SDTC to development a drop-in renewable fuel from cellulosic biomass.
A drop-in biofuel – made from biomass that is chemically indistinguishable from petroleum-based fuel and compatible with currently used fuel infrastructure and engines – has been difficult to produce. Cellufuel’s catalytic depolymerisation technology converts wood into renewable diesel that meets the quality of petroleum diesel. This project will build a demonstration scale plant at a former newsprint mill, demonstrating the commercial viability of the process including the production cost and product quality. Cellufuel leveraged $4,370,619 in additional funding for a total project value of $6,523,312.
Cellufuel Inc. is a Nova Scotia based start-up that is focused on the production of synthetic renewable fuels from forestry biomass. They will be included as a Technology Tour location during the 2016 Atlantic Biorefinery Conference.
Click here to learn more.
The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) are offering up to $40 million to Canadian innovators producing energy efficiency and conservation; carbon dioxide utilization, methane reduction, or cleaner energy production and usage projects. CCEMC and SDTC have had great success together funding these types of projects in the past and this is the first time the two organizations are offering an opportunity to access funding from both through a single application process.
The joint process offers applicants a streamlined, harmonized model with one window for access to two pools of money. Collectively, there is $40 million available, with a maximum of $10 million per project. The matching funds available here (up to 66.7%) are more than applicants could get through either the SDTC or CCEMC processes individually.
Deadline for Submission: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 8:00 PM EDT
APPLY NOW at www.CCEMC-SDTC.ca
Questions? Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chinese city of Shenzhen will tackle its serious waste problem by burning 5,000 tonnes of it a day in what is on track to be the world's largest waste-to-energy plant in the world.
Measuring over a mile across, the massive structure will be built by two Danish architecht firms. Located in the outskirts of Shenzhen, the plant is expected to be complete by 2020.
The Schenzhen East Waste to Energy Plant will incinerate one third of the waste generated by the city's 20 million residents and turn it into reusable energy. Some activists groups have expressed concern over the environmental impact of the CO2 release, but the payoff is considered "worth it" with the massive dent that the Plant will make into the landfills and illegal dumps that are building up in China. Reportedly, one landfill killed dozens of people when it unexpectedly collapsed last year.
"Waste-to-energy plants are not an energy solution" says Chris Hardie from Schimidt Hammer Lassen Architects, adding that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from decomposing landfills is around double the CO2 released by incineration (source).
"They are a way of dealing with waste and using this process to generate electricity as a byproduct of the process. Cities have to move towards more recycling and reducing their waste for sure - and of course developing more sources of renewable energy. That is sort of the point we are making by proposing this be the first waste-to-energy plant that has a renewable component to it," he said.
Click here to read more and view an animated video about the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant.
Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Mycodev Group is a biotechnology company focused on bringing to market a versatile pharmaceutical ingredient called chitosan. Co-Founder and CTO David Brown says his company takes a novel approach to producing its chitosan; it comes entirely from fungus.
Similar to how beer is brewed, Mycodev grows large amounts of fungus via a submerged fermentation process. From there they extract the chitosan, which is sold in powder form.
Brown co-founded Mycodev three years ago with his business partner, CEO Brennan Sisk. Both are New Brunswick natives and the duo is thrilled to be seeing entrepreneurial success right in their home province.
Opportunities NB (ONB) recently spoke to David Brown to learn more.
Click here to read the full Q&A.
The organizers of the Atlantic Biorefinery Conference will keep you informed on deadlines, speakers, and other updates.