Investing In Greener Car Parts



    McGuinty Government Supports Research To Bring Products To Market

    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The Ontario government is providing $2.5 million to three companies that
are inventing new ways to make car parts out of crops. The parts are lighter,
stronger and cleaner to produce and use.
    Interior trim, head restraint coverings and ceilings can all be made from
crops like soy beans and castor. They can also be used to make products used
in packaging, construction, furniture manufacturing and other consumer items.
    Canadian General-Tower Limited (http://www.cgtower.com/index.htm),
GreenCore Composites Inc. (http://greencorenfc.com/) and The Woodbridge Group
(http://www.woodbridgegroup.com/) are developing products that will create
jobs in this emerging field. There is a growing global demand for less toxic,
more eco-friendly chemicals and materials.
    The funding will be provided through the Ontario BioAuto Council
(http://www.bioautocouncil.com/). It brings together sectors such as
manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, and chemical and plastic producers.

    QUOTES

    "Our government is proud to support companies that are turning innovative
ideas into good jobs and a greener, more globally competitive Ontario," said
John Wilkinson (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/about/MinisterBio.asp),
Minister of Research and Innovation.

    "These investments will help Ontario companies move to the forefront of
technologies that allow us to replace toxic materials and products with
environmentally friendly, bio-based ones. It's a win for our environment and
for our manufacturers," said Minister of the Environment, John Gerretsen
(http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/about/minister/index.php).

    "Ontario's agriculture sector represents a valuable resource for our
growing bioproducts industry. By supporting innovations in bio-based
materials, we are building new opportunities for Ontario farmers and for our
province's economy," said Leona Dombrowsky
(http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/team/biography.asp?MPPID=44), Minister of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -  Plastics manufacturing consumes about 270 million tons of oil and gas
       every year worldwide.

    -  The global renewable and bioproducts industry is expected to exceed
       $125 billion in revenues by the year 2010.

    -  The Woodbridge Group projects new sales from this investment to be $5
       million in 2010, increasing to $40 million by 2013.

    LEARN MORE

    Find out more about the projects being funded.
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/BioAuto012209_bd1.asp)

    See how Ontario's Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp) is creating jobs
and opportunity.

    FOR MEDIA

    For high definition A-roll (sound bites), B-roll and high resolution
images for this announcement, visit the For the Media
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/mediaroom.asp) page of the
ontario.ca/innovation website and follow the Bio-economy and Clean Tech link.

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    BACKGROUNDER
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                       ONTARIO BIOAUTO COUNCIL PROJECTS
    

    The Ontario BioAuto Council (http://www.bioautocouncil.com/) was launched
in 2006 and has received more than $6 million in funding from the province.
The council brings together the agriculture and forestry sectors, chemical and
plastic producers and advanced manufacturing. The council's investment fund
helps companies develop and commercialize their bio-based materials, and
supports the $3 billion Ontario Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp).
    These materials will position Ontario to meet the enormous growing demand
for alternative, sustainable, bio-based products in the automotive,
construction, furniture and consumer goods sectors. The global renewable and
bioproducts industry is expected to exceed $125 billion in revenues by the
year 2010.

    PROJECTS FUNDED BY THE ONTARIO BIOAUTO COUNCIL

    Canadian General-Tower Limited (http://www.cgtower.com/index.htm)
(Cambridge) - Hard PVC plastic is made soft and flexible for use in upholstery
and other automotive products through the use of plasticizers. The most common
plasticizers are phthalates, which are petroleum-based. In this project, CGT,
a North American leader in the production of automotive interior trim
materials, will evaluate two bio-based plasticizers. If successful, the
company could convert up to 90 per cent of its products to use bio-based
plasticizers by 2012. Through the Ontario BioAuto Council, the province is
contributing $776,250 to this project.

    GreenCore Composites (http://greencorenfc.com/) (Toronto) - GreenCore is
a spin-off company created by the Innovations Group at the University of
Toronto  (http://www.innovations.utoronto.ca/) in September 2005 to
commercialize natural-fibre composites technology. While natural-fibre
composites already exist, GreenCore is developing a next generation product
that delivers better strength and performance at a lighter weight. The
company's Green Inside(TM) pellets could be used in several sectors, including
automotive, furniture and other consumer products. Trials with automotive
industry partners have confirmed the commercial potential of GreenCore's
technology. Through the Ontario BioAuto Council, the province is committing
$755,000 to help the company refine its production process, improve the
product, and support the adoption of the material by industrial customers.

    The Woodbridge Group (http://www.woodbridgegroup.com/) (Mississauga) -
The Woodbridge Group's BioFoam technology is derived from plant seed oils
instead of petroleum. Today, it's used in the seat cushions, head restraints
and arm rests of several popular vehicles. Now Woodbridge is developing new
applications for the material. One of these is a system that incorporates
BioFoam with natural fibres to create automotive ceilings that are lighter and
provide better cabin sound quality. Woodbridge projects new sales as a result
of this program to be $5 million in 2010, increasing to $40 million by 2013. 
Through the Ontario BioAuto Council, the province is committing $1 million to
this project.

    
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For further information:

For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067;  Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

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