The Canadian Government, led by Stephen Harper, is enabling a company to commercialize a “green” bio-plastic, using innovative technology that was developed at the University of Guelph, Member of Parliament Dave Van Kesteren (Chatham-Kent-Essex) announced yesterday, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
“Our government believes that strategic support for innovative Canadian businesses is a smart investment in our economy,” Van Kesteren said. “This innovative Canadian-developed technology will enable producers to find new markets and add value to their products, boosting their bottom line.”
Competitive Green Technologies received a repayable contribution of $360,000 from the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) to purchase and install equipment to produce biopolymer resin compounds from non-food biomass fibres. These compounds are to be used as input for the plastic moulding industry to make products such as bins and flower pots. The technology to formulate bio-resins was developed by the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre at the University of Guelph and the company has acquired a 10-year exclusive licence in North America.
“This investment has facilitated the commercialization of the first Canadian grown agricultural fibres based bio-composites for consumer markets. It is truly a harbinger of the development of a local bio-economy – close to where the ag fibers are grown,” says Mike Tiessen, President of Competitive Green Technologies. “It will set the stage for agri-innovation and help Canadian agriculture to integrate with the manufacturing sector, improve environmental sustainability and support an emerging bio-economy.”
This project was supported through the Agricultural Innovation Program—a $50 million initiative announced under Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2011. This program was part of the Government’s commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology and came to an end on March 31, 2013.
The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework which took effect on April 1 includes an AgriInnovation Program valued at up to $698 million over five years, designed to serve as a catalyst for innovation by supporting research, development and commercialization of new ideas that result in new products and technologies. Growing Forward 2 includes an investment of more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.