Lab Canada

New biotechnology hub launched with $3M funding

Sarnia, ON – Ontario’s provincial government is partnering with Bioindustrial Innovation Canada to support a new biotechnology hub in the Sarnia area that is expected to create 400 high-value jobs.


Ontario will provide $3 million in funding over four years through the Business Growth Initiative to build the Centre of Excellence for the Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovations at the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, Canada’s largest clean-tech incubator. The centre will focus on bridging critical gaps and addressing commercialization challenges faced by the biotechnology sector, including developing expertise, forging commercial partnerships, and accessing risk-capital to help bring discoveries and technologies from the lab to the marketplace. 


Biomanufacturing is the process of turning sustainable feedstock – renewable resources such as agricultural and forestry by-products and wastes – into energy, value-added chemicals and materials for use in a variety of everyday products such as plastics, personal care products, automotive parts and food additives. The use of plant-derived chemicals and bio-manufacturing processes can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional petroleum-based production methods. For example, BioAmber, a sustainable chemical company in Sarnia produces plant-derived succinic acid and is able to achieve a 100 per cent reduction in GHGs over conventional methods. Similarly, EcoSynthetix, a Burlington-based renewable chemicals company produces paper coatings while cutting GHG emissions by 63 per cent compared to the norm.


According to Pike Research, the global green chemicals market is expected to grow to nearly $100 billion dollars by 2020.