Canadian Manufacturing

$55M automotive, construction biomaterials program launched

National Research Council of Canada will invest $30-million in program over five years



OTTAWA—The federal government is launching a biomaterials program to accelerate the development of green vehicles and buildings.

Announced by Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford, the five-year, $55-million program is aimed at turning agricultural and forestry byproducts into new, more environmentally-friendly materials.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) will invest $30-million in the program, while a combination of industry, academic institutions and other government departments will make up the remaining $25-million.

“This new program will strengthen Canada’s role as a leader in the development of innovative, and sustainable materials and technologies,” Rickford said in a statement.

“This is yet another example of how we’re ensuring more ideas get to the marketplace, as this program integrates the expertise of the NRC with the business know-how of Canadian industry leaders to manufacture new lightweight, cost-effective and bio-sourced materials for next generation vehicles and homes, to improve the quality of life of Canadians.”

The goal of the program is to reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers plastics with bioresins, biofibres and biocomposites made from Canadian non-food biomass like wood, lignin, grain husks, flax and hemp stems.

“Agricultural and forestry by-products will be integrated into new materials, which will ultimately reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers,” NRC president John McDougall said.

“These biomaterials promise to be as safe as the materials currently in use by industry, inexpensive to produce and the ideal lightweight technology for the automotive and construction sectors.”

The program will combine resources from Canadian businesses to advance research and development in the manufacturing of industrial biomaterials.

It will also help Canada’s transportation and construction industries remain competitive in global markets by ensuring that automotive parts manufacturers and green building material suppliers can adopt these leading-edge technologies.

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