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Alberta approves $13M in R&D funding

A new round of research and innovation funding aimed at growing a sustainable bioeconomy in Alberta has been announced. Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio) has approved nearly $13 million in funding for 61 projects by researchers and companies.


July 27, 2016
By Cindy Macdonald


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The grants are for the development of new industrial bioproducts or technologies using Alberta agriculture and forestry byproducts or other biomass. The funding is provided under the Alberta Bio Future research and innovation program.

“The economy of the next 30 years is going to be very different than the economy of the past 30 years, and Alberta’s innovators are leading the way in finding solutions to future challenges and capitalizing on future opportunities,” said Alberta Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous. “Using renewable materials in fascinating new ways, they are helping to diversify our economy and keep our province competitive.”

The approved projects span the research and innovation continuum from early applied research to commercialization. In addition to AI Bio funding, 25 projects also have industry funding.

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“The projects were carefully chosen in a rigorous, competitive process, based on criteria designed to maximize public benefit and advance the bioindustrial sector in Alberta,” said Steve Price, CEO of AI Bio.

“Alberta is blessed with abundant biomass in our forests and crops, advanced infrastructure and universities, and highly qualified personnel in our academic community and bioindustrial sector. AI Bio works as a catalyst to bring these together to accelerate growth in an area with great potential.”

The researchers and companies carrying out the projects are using a variety of biomass types to develop or produce advanced biomaterials, biofuels, biochemicals or biocomposites for a broad range of applications.

Numerous projects involve cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) for construction, manufacturing or medical applications. Alberta has one of only a number of facilities in the world capable of producing high-quality CNC, a high-performing, advanced biomaterial derived from cellulose. The CNC research and innovation pilot plant is located at Alberta Innovates Technology Futures in Edmonton.

The full project list is here on the AI Bio website.