Funding Announced For Biomaterials Centre

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Waste wood into car seats and hemp fibre into insulation are just two potentials for a “biomaterials” facility recently announced by Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology and Ted Morton, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development.

The Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre is a $15 million investment created by a partner of the Advanced Education and Technology through the Alberta Life Sciences Institute, the Alberta Research Council and the Alberta Government’s Agriculture and Rural Development and Sustainable Resource Development Divisions. The Centre will be located at the Alberta Research Council’s Vegreville facility and at the University of Alberta’s

Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner holds up part of a car seat developed from biomaterials at a press conference to announce a government initiative to fund the Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre. – Alexis Kienlen

Agriculture Discovery place in Edmonton.

Biomaterial ventures will add new value to renewable resources and make use of waste products from agriculture and forestry. “Product development centres will help researchers bring products to the marketplace,” said Horner. “Once they’ve received acceptance in the marketplace, we’re looking forward to them building companies here in the province and creating wealth.”

Grains, straw and wood generated by forestry and agriculture sectors could be used to create new products which could find value in provincial, national and international marketplaces, said Horner. “We’re going to use technology to help build on our traditional industries and transform them. We’re going to grow Alberta’s share in the global biomaterials industry,” he said.

Waste materials from the forestry industry can be used as insulation, as green resin or to generate bioenergy, said Morton, adding that biomaterials are also environmentally friendly, which will help Alberta compete in a green economy.

About the author

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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