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Creating Jobs And Economic Opportunities With Our Fields, Forests And Oceans

Creating Jobs and Economic Opportunities with our Fields, Forests and Oceans

Business professionals, growers, fish processors, foresters, government officials and academics will be participating in an Atlantic Canada Biorefinery Conference on May 30-31, 2013, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Taking the lead in developing new markets for our Field, Forest and Ocean sectors, the event was organized by the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, BioAtlantech and Springboard Atlantic Inc. This conference will highlight the economic impact the biorefining and bioprocessing sector has on the economy in Atlantic Canada. Biorefining presents opportunities for our abundant natural resources and industry by-products to be converted to value added products such as food, bioenergy, nutraceuticals and bio-based materials. These innovations in our traditional resource-based industries have the potential to create high value employment and increase prosperity in our region.  For example, the biofuels industry alone is expected to contribute over $200M to GDP, creating over 4,800 full-time equivalent jobs in this region; generating over $125M in labour income, and an annual tax revenue to federal and provincial governments of over $48M as that sub-sector moves from bench scale into production.

Organizers are hoping that this conference will demonstrate the concept of biorefining and its direct and spin-off effects on the economic and environmental sustainability of the Atlantic region.  The biorefining industry in Atlantic Canada has been an area of increasing R&D activity in recent years in the areas of bioenergy, biofuels, nutraceuticals and value added food. Researchers at a number of our research institutes have developed technologies and processes that add value to sector by-products or divert waste streams. For example, the Coastal Zones Research Institute has developed technologies to add value to fisheries by-products and divert waste materials from fish processing plants. In the private sector, such research activities have led to an increase in entrepreneurship and have resulted in the establishment of an Atlantic BioEnergy Association, ACBC: Atlantic Council for BioEnergy Cooperative.  The shift from research to commercialization is evidenced by pilot scale projects involving bioenergy (Complete Senergy Systems in N.B. and Lawson Mills BioMass Solutions in PEI), biofuels (Atlantec BioEnergy Corporation in PEI) and have resulted in an increase in direct and spin-off employment and revenues for other organizations (like Diversified Metal Engineering in PEI).

Demonstrations of a few existing projects will be part of the conference itinerary with visits to both Lawson Mills, and Atlantec BioEnergy Inc.

“ The CCNB is very proud to be a partner in this endeavor. Our mission as a College is to be an innovating institution with leading strategies on the provincial, national and international markets.” said CCNB President and CEO Mrs. Liane Roy.

By providing regional industries using or producing biomass with examples of biorefining opportunities and engaging industry and researchers on the potential for applied research projects related to biorefining and bioenergy, it is the hope of the conference organizers that there will be an increase in the number of commercial projects and technologies in our region.

“Springboard is proud to support this event and looks forward to helping connect participants from industry to academics in the region who can advance new opportunities in this sector.  We have untapped know-how and capabilities to access, and technologies to be developed for commercial use resulting in economic benefit.” said Chris Mathis, President and CEO of Springboard Atlantic.

Speakers and panelists from Atlantic Canada, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and the United States will be focused on examples of how to turn Atlantic Canada’s forestry, agriculture and aquaculture biomass resources into high value added products for the global market.

Meaghan Seagrave, Operations Manager for BioAtlantech (New Brunswick’s Lead Bioscience Agency) explained: “Enormous opportunities exist for our traditional sectors – we live in a region that is rich in natural resources and research capacity. It is only a matter of time before the economic potential of this sector is fully realized.”

Participants will learn from a wide array of regional and national biorefining experts about their field experience and some of the key challenges around innovation, business management and commercialization of our region’s bio resources.

Our hope is that this event will demonstrate the opportunities in the region and spur additional collaborative biorefining projects within all our traditional sectors, thereby promoting growth and economic development in the Atlantic region.

About the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick
The CCNB is a modern student focused College with five campuses geographically located across Northern New Brunswick and in Dieppe. In 2010-2011, the CCNB had 11 000 students registered in its Regular and Continuing Education Programs. One year after graduation 90 % of graduates were employed. The CCNB contributes to the economic development of the communities it serves, with more than 90 programs that meet labour market needs. As an entrepreneurial and innovative College, the CCNB adapts to the rapidly changing economy, supports the activities of applied research and encourages innovation. CCNB aspires to be an employer of choice in N.B.

About Springboard Atlantic
Springboard Atlantic helps move Canadian expertise and innovations from the labs and minds of academic researchers to final products in the marketplace. Springboard Atlantic is a regional commericalization and industry liaison network. Our members represent 18 Atlantic Canadian universities and colleges. Springboard members increase research commercialization collaborations, supports the creation of new and improved products, streamline processes and help develop a skilled and competitive workforce.

About BioAtlantech
BioAtlantech is the lead agency for New Brunswick’s bio-industries, established in 1997 to lead the development of biotechnology for the Province of New Brunswick. Working with government and the private sector, the corporation builds and enhances new and existing businesses in New Brunswick’s biosciences sectors; supports technology transfer from public institutions to the private sector; offers services in competitive technical intelligence gathering and business plan development; assists partners in company recruitment; assists partners in policy development; manages strategic projects; and coordinates networking opportunities for the sector.