Ontario invests in bioindustrial R&D centre

22 August 2007 16:30  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A new bioindustrial centre in Ontario will be an important link between universities and industry to develop and commercialise bio-based chemical and fuel products, a Canadian consultant said on Wednesday.


Ontario’s provincial government announced last week it would support a bioindustrial centre at the Sarnia petrochemicals hub near the US border to Detroit with Canadian dollars (C$) 10.0m ($9.4m) in funding.


Gregory Penner, CEO of Guelph, Ontario-based consultancy NeoBio, said the centre would help Sarnia-based chemical makers branch into bio-based chemicals production.


Products targeted by the centre would likely include biopolymers and fibre substitutes as well as the development and commercialisation of clean biofuels, he said.


Despite capacity closures in the recent past, Sarnia still accounted for some 60% of all chemicals made in Canada, he added.


The centre will also use research facilities formerly occupied by Dow Chemical which plans to close down all production at Sarnia next year.


Ontario’s Liberal government expects the centre to attract over C$1bn in private sector investment by 2014 and support 1,000 research and engineering jobs, it said in a statement.


The Liberals are gearing up for re-election in October and have made many large funding announcements in past weeks.


($1 = C$1.06)


By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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