High Technology, a Priority for Agriculture

    Four days to focus on innovations in B.C. agriculture, food and
    bioproducts (February 18-21, 2009)


    BRITISH COLUMBIA, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) is
supporting activities to strengthen the use of technology in B.C.'s
agriculture, food and bioproducts sectors.

    Activities include:

    Microalgae as a 'Green' Fuel Alternative for B.C. Still Years Away -
    Report Released

    BCIC released the results of a study exploring the viability of microalgae
as a 'green' alternative for biofuel in B.C. The study was conducted by Seed
Science Ltd. and compiled in a report, titled Microalgae Technologies &
Processes for Biofuels/Bioenergy Production in British Columbia: Current
Technology, Suitability & Barriers to Implementation.


    -   Microalgae can potentially meet B.C.'s diesel needs, as it can
        produce larger amounts of oil on less land when compared to other
        sources like soybean and canola.

    -   Since the harvesting process requires a high amount of CO2,
        algae-based technologies can have a high impact on reducing
        greenhouse gas emissions.

    -   High cost factors are a major challenge of making biofuels from
        algae, as none of the conversion processes examined can compete with
        the price of fossil fuels.

    -   Algae-to-bioenergy technologies are still in a pre-commercial stage
        and require further research and design to increase productivity and
        reduce costs - making their adoption unlikely in the near future.

    The study was funded by BCIC, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, BC
Hydro, and Canadian Bioenergy.

    Report Summary:

    Complete report:

    7th Annual AgriFood Industry Gala

    February 18, 2009, 5 to 11 pm, Ramada Plaza and Conference Center,
    Abbotsford, B.C.

    BCIC is sponsoring the 7th Annual AgriFood Industry Gala, produced by the
BC Agriculture Council to celebrate B.C.'s food and wine industry and
recognize leadership in B.C.'s agricultural industry. Join over 450 industry
members, host CBC's Gloria Macarenko, guest speaker "Dr. Joe" Schwarcz (award
winning scientist and author who demystifies the science of health and food
for the public, media and students), and BCIC at the launch of exciting new
initiatives to encourage technology commercialization in B.C.'s agriculture,
food and bioproducts sectors. For details, visit www.bcac.bc.ca.

    Horticulture Growers' Short Course at the Pacific Agriculture Show

    February 19 to 21, 2009, Tradex Exhibition Centre, Abbotsford, B.C.

    BCIC is a Platinum Sponsor of the Horticulture Growers' Short Course,
produced by the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association. Featured
streams include:

    -   Greenhouse Energy
    -   Business Management Session
    -   Value Added: Storage Technologies

    The Short Course is showcased at the 11th Annual Pacific Agriculture
Show, the largest agriculture exhibition in the province and the premier event
for B.C.'s agriculture industry. For details, visit www.agricultureshow.net.

    About the BC Innovation Council

    The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) is the lead organization charged with
advancing innovation and commercialization in British Columbia. BCIC is
focused on accelerating the growth of our science and technology communities
and competitively positioning British Columbia in the global science and
technology economy in order to provide significant employment opportunities
and a high standard of living for British Columbians. BCIC is a Crown agency
of the Province of British Columbia. For more information about BCIC, visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Stephanie Leung, Communications
Coordinator, British Columbia Innovation Council, (604) 602-5249,
1-800-665-7222, sleung@bcic.ca

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