Funds will support 61 research and development projects aiming to turn agricultural and forestry biomass into usable products
EDMONTON—The Alberta government says it is providing nearly $13 million in funding to help create new uses for agricultural and forestry products through the Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions agency.
The funding will go to 61 researchers and companies looking to develop industrial bioproducts or technologies that use plant materials known as biomass.
The government says the program is meant to help diversify and strengthen the economy by adding value to the province’s renewable resources.
“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,” the province’s Economic Development and Trade Minister, Deron Bilous, said.
Projects ranging from early-stage research to commercial applications will receive funding, including ones developing smart windows, fire retardants and building materials.
Many of the proposals involve news ways of using the cellulose material found in plants that is processed into a crystal-like form known as cellulose nanocrystals.
Canada’s forestry industry has for years been trying to develop uses for the processed cellulose, with limited success.