Sarnia, ON – A new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre will help Ontario’s petrochemical industry develop environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuels. The provincial government is providing $10 million to the project.
The centre will connect researchers and the local petrochemical industry to create and commercialize new sources of clean fuel. Located at the University of Western Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, it will help support the development of a bio-hybrid chemical industry. The centre is also receiving support from the University of Western Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, the city of Sarnia and Lambton County.
A retrofit of 60,000 sq ft of existing laboratory space will provide a commercialization centre with incubator suites, laboratory equipment, pilot plant space, and growth space for start-up companies. An additional 60,000 sq ft of new office space will serve as an accelerator centre to house Colt Engineering, a current tenant of the research park. Colt Engineering is a rapidly growing company specializing in project management of ethanol, biodiesel, and bio-chemical plants, as well as traditional petrochemical facilities.
“The centre will support both research and commercialization,” said Caroline Di Cocco, minister of culture, in making the announcement. “There is widespread industry and community support for a hybrid industry that integrates the traditional petrochemical industry with the new bioeconomy. The Bioindustrial Innovation Centre is a strategic use of existing industry and infrastructure to achieve industrial scale biotechnology. It is a big step forward in building the Ontario of the future with clean, green jobs.”