New program will grow agri-based industrial bioproduct development in Ontario

TORONTO and GUELPH, ON, Nov. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) are fostering innovation in the province's growing agri-based industrial bioproducts sector.

Through the $3 million Agri-Based Industrial Bioproducts (ABIB) R&D Challenge launched today, OCE and AAC will partner with the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), academia and the bioproducts industry to fund approximately 10 projects. The program encourages for-profit businesses with innovative industrial bioproduct ideas to collaborate with academic research institutions to foster innovation and drive commercialization.

"We are excited to be working with all of our partners on this challenge," says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. "OCE is already working with several companies who have seen success with bioproducts and biopharmaceuticals and this challenge will help even more companies succeed."

Agri-based industrial bioproducts are any commercial product derived from agricultural sources such as plant fibres, plant and vegetable oils, plant-based protein and sugar/starch crops.   Anticipated projects will include the development of biocomposite materials to replace petrochemical-derived plastics, renewable plant-based oils to create biobased polymers, and plant-based proteins as an alternative to petroleum-based plastics. 

"The ABIB R&D Challenge will further support Ontario's developing agri-based products industry value chains from farm field to industrial bioproducts", says Judy Dirksen, AAC Chair. "The use and interest in agri-based products is growing, and it is imperative that the development of these innovative products and technologies continue to be supported."

Ultimately, it is expected the resulting projects will provide significant economic benefits to Ontario in the form of jobs and prosperity through the development of the next generation of agri-based industrial bioproducts.

The province of Ontario has identified the development of bioproducts as having potential for significant economic, environmental and health benefits. Bioproducts typically come in three varieties: bioenergy (liquid fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, and combustible biomass), biomaterials (plastic, foam, rubber) and biochemicals (lubricants, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics).

"This R&D challenge is a tremendous opportunity for Ontario. It brings together our leading research community and agricultural sector to develop and advance bold new innovation," says Reza Moridi, Minster of Research and Innovation. "Bioproducts have the potential for significant economic, environmental and health benefits and I look forward to the positive results of this collaboration,"

The ABIB R&D Challenge is now accepting expressions of interest with applications being reviewed and approved in 2016. Further program information can be found at the OCE website.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at

About the Agricultural Adaptation Council

The Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) is based in Guelph, Ontario, and is a grassroots, industry-driven organization, delivering funding, programs, and services that stimulate growth and innovation. Since 1995, the AAC has been committed to providing outstanding customer service that is efficient, flexible, cost effective and accountable with a primary focus on the Ontario agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry. The AAC is a not-for-profit organization that is made up of 67 Ontario agricultural, agri-food and rural organizations, who annually elects the AAC board of directors. The board represents the collective interest of the AAC membership in the direction and guidance of the affairs of the AAC.  Learn more at

SOURCE Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.

For further information: Media contacts: Stuart Green, Manager, Media Relations, Ontario Centres of Excellence, 416-861-1092 x1022,; Laura Feil, Programs Lead & Communications Manager, Agricultural Adaptation Council, 519-822-7554 x629,


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