SARNIA, Ont.—An emerging cluster of biotech businesses in southwestern Ontario is getting a multimillion-dollar boost from the federal government.
FedDev Ontario has announced it will invest $12 million in Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC), an industry organization that supports small- and medium-sized companies researching and commercializing new sustainable chemistry technologies.
“This funding is critical for BIC to achieve its vision to create jobs and economic value sustainably for Canada,” Sandy Marshall, the organization’s executive director, said. “Building sectors of innovation is a key strategy for economic development, and this funding allows BIC to effectively support hybrid chemistry cluster development in southern Ontario.”
Based in Sarnia-Lambton, Ont., BIC is working to make Ontario a hotbed for technologies that use renewable feedstocks from industries such as agriculture and forestry to create energy or replace products currently manufactured using high-emissions processes.
With the $12 million investment from FedDev Ontario secured, BIC will also receive $14.5 million from the Ontario government, the private sector, non-profits and universities.
The organization plans to use the funds to forge a range of industry collaborations and partnerships, as well as create a commercialization fund to help startups bring their technology to market. BIC expects to support 15 Ontario businesses through the fund, creating nearly 500 permanent or temporary full-time jobs by 2018. Companies that qualify for funding will receive up to $500,000 to move their technology forward.