Lab Canada

Biomaterials centre to help test technologies for developing new products

Edmonton, AB – A new biomaterials development centre is inviting researchers and companies to test methods and technologies for producing new or enhanced materials, chemicals and energy from fibre feedstock.

Based at the Alberta Research Council’s facility in Vegreville and the University of Alberta’s Agriculture Discovery Place in Edmonton, the Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre has received $15-million in funding by partners Advanced Education and Technology, Agriculture and Rural Development, Sustainable Resource Development and the Alberta Research Council.

“Alberta’s strength in research and our great agriculture and forestry resources means we’re in the right place to transform these traditional industries,” says Doug Horner, minister of advanced education and technology. “Our government’s strategies for diversifying our economy show that innovation is the key to gaining new value in industries like agriculture and forestry that are already established in our province.”

The centre links research, technology and business to bring new products derived from agriculture and forestry-based fibres to the market faster. It will offer access to expertise, test facilities, scale-up equipment, validation prototyping, and customer-demonstration support.

“Alberta’s forest resources can extend beyond current uses,” said Ted Morton, minister of sustainable resource development. “New technologies are showing that wood fibre can enhance or replace materials derived from non-renewable resources. This means getting more uses from every tree harvested, to make products with more renewable content.”