New Bioindustrial Innovation Centre Expected To Attract $1 Billion
Investment And Support 1,000 Jobs In Ontario
SARNIA, ON, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - The McGuinty Government is helping
Sarnia-Lambton's petrochemical industry develop environmentally friendly
alternatives to fossil fuels by supporting a new Bioindustrial Innovation
Centre, Minister of Culture Caroline Di Cocco announced today on behalf of the
Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty.
"We are on the side of Ontarians who want a prosperous economy and a
clean environment," said Premier McGuinty. "This project is helping Ontario
become a leader in environmental protection and driving the new
knowledge-based economy that is based on creative, forward-thinking ideas,
leading-edge research and new technologies."
The new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre will connect researchers and the
local petrochemical industry to create and commercialize new sources of clean
fuel. The centre, acting in partnership with others in the community, is
expected to attract over $1 billion in private sector investment by 2014,
immediately support up to 1,000 jobs in research and engineering, and help
attract new bioindustrial plants to the petrochemical industry in Sarnia.
"A good part of Ontario's industrial base was built on energy and
chemicals created from fossil fuels right here in Sarnia-Lambton," said
Minister Di Cocco. "This new innovation centre will leverage that expertise
and infrastructure, and make Ontario a leader in developing renewable
alternatives. The result will be a competitive new industry that is also
Located at the University of Western Ontario's Sarnia-Lambton Research
Park, the centre will help support the development of a bio-hybrid chemical
industry. The McGuinty government is committing $10 million to the project,
which is also receiving support from the University of Western Ontario's
Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, the City of Sarnia and Lambton County.
A retrofit of 60,000 sq. ft. of existing laboratory space will provide a
commercialization centre with incubator suites, laboratory equipment, pilot
plant space, and growth space for start-up companies. An additional 60,000 sq.
ft. of new office space will serve as an accelerator centre to house Colt
Engineering, a current tenant of the research park. Colt Engineering is a
rapidly growing company specializing in project management of ethanol,
biodiesel, and bio-chemical plants, as well as traditional petrochemical
"The centre will support both research and commercialization," said
Minister Di Cocco. "There is widespread industry and community support for a
hybrid industry that integrates the traditional petrochemical industry with
the new bioeconomy. The Bioindustrial Innovation Centre is a strategic use of
existing industry and infrastructure to achieve industrial scale
biotechnology. It is a big step forward in building the Ontario of the future
with clean, green jobs."
Investing in research and innovation is another example of how the
McGuinty government is working on the side of businesses and families to
strengthen Ontario's economy.
Other initiatives include:
- Attracting over $7 billion in new investment announcements in the
auto sector, creating as many as 7,000 new jobs
- Introducing the $160-million Ideas to Market strategy to grow new
start-ups and drive innovative discoveries rapidly from the lab to
- Investing $6.2 billion in postsecondary education and student
financial assistance and training by 2009-10 - the most significant
multi-year investment in Ontario's higher education system in 40
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ONTARIO BIOINDUSTRIAL INNOVATION CENTRE
The Ontario Bioindustrial Innovation Centre will occupy new and renovated
office, laboratory and pilot plant space at the University of Western
Ontario's Sarnia-Lambton Research Park.
With an investment of $10 million from the Government of Ontario, the
centre will leverage over $15 million in funds from other partners to complete
construction over the next two years. The project includes building 60,000 sq.
ft. of new "green building" space, and the renovation of a 60,000 sq. ft.
research facility formerly occupied by Dow Chemical Canada.
The investment will help spur a more globally competitive industry by
integrating the renewable bio-based industry into the traditional
petrochemical industry. The centre will act as a catalyst to help attract new
bioindustrial plants to Sarnia and support up to 1,000 jobs in research and
The centre will capitalize on Sarnia-Lambton's strong regional position
to take advantage of rapidly expanding markets in the bioeconomy. The region
enjoys three critical advantages it can use as markets emerge:
- Access to raw materials
Centrally located in the North American market for corn and soybeans
markets, Sarnia-Lambton also has access to ocean going vessels for
delivery of biomass, fuels and chemicals.
- Low-cost production processes
The region's vast experience in the petrochemical sector gives it the
technical know-how, a developed industrial infrastructure and the
access to capital vital to low cost production.
- High value-added products and markets
The region's producers currently supply chemicals and polymers to the
plastics, manufacturing and automotive industries, which produce
higher value-added products.
The new facilities will also benefit many of the more than 100 projects
currently underway with industry and academia at the research park. The park
will offer new programs to tenants and clients, including those focused on
mentorship, investor readiness, peer-to-peer groups and shared equipment.
As prime tenant for 50 per cent of the total new and renovated space, Colt
Engineering, a leading petrochemical engineering company in Canada, will use
the new space to double its Sarnia engineering capacity to 600 or more
employees. The centre will support Colt Engineering in recruiting and
retaining top engineering talent, for current and future projects.
Other research partners include the University of Western Ontario, Lambton
College and the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute, which includes
the University of Toronto, Queen's, Waterloo, McMaster and Western.
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For further information:
For further information: Mark Thompson, Minister's Office, Ministry of
Culture, (416) 325-4071; Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975