Canadian Manufacturing

Federal government announces over $3.5M in support for UBC’s BioProducts Institute

Using waste and residue from B.C. forests, this approach will create alternatives to plastic-based, single use products.

August 13, 2021  by CM Staff

Renovated UBC BioProducts Institute lab. (CNW Group/Pacific Economic Development Canada)

SURREY — On Aug. 13, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Pacific Economic Development Canada, announced funding of over $3.5 million in federal support for the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) BioProducts Institute.

This funding will support the development, scale-up, and production of sustainable bioproducts, such as filters, adhesives, lightweight materials, and personal protective equipment, by helping de-risk technologies and foster the commercialization of bioproducts and solutions. Using waste and residue from B.C. forests, this approach will create alternatives to plastic-based, single use products.

The pulp and paper sector has faced global competitive challenges in recent years, and pulp and paper mills in B.C. must continue to innovate to stay competitive. UBC’s BioProducts Institute is ranked in the top three globally in its field. It will help mills in the province become bioproduct or biorefinery mills, creating sustainable materials for use in the medical field, personal care, filtration, crop protection, and other industries.

“Forestry is a key contributor to Canada’s economy. This investment is a reflection of our government’s plan to revitalize our economy and protect Canadian businesses. By supporting collaboration and innovation that meets the needs of Canadians, we will build an even stronger economic future.” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Pacific Economic Development Canada.

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“Scaling up development of high-value, bio-based materials from cellulose and lignin will generate economic and social benefits for B.C. and increase the long-term competitiveness of its forest sector. UBC’s BioProducts Institute, together with the BioAlliance and industry partners, is working on catalyzing the diversification of the forest industry into sustainable markets. We are grateful to Pacific Economic Development Canada for this new funding, which supports our efforts to help grow B.C.’s bio-economy, in alignment with the province’s goals to accelerate technological and economic growth and improve environmental sustainability.” said Professor Orlando Rojas, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Forest Bioproducts and Scientific Director, UBC BioProducts Institute.