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Biotechnology cluster program kickstarted in Ontario


Toronto, ON June 20, 2003 Funding of up to C$2.2 million to regional biotechnology consortiums across Ontario for strategic business plans has been announced by the Ontario government.

The first phase of the biotechnology cluster innovation program (BCIP) will award up to $2.2 million for business plans outlining biotechnology infrastructure projects. The estimated matching contribution from recipients and business partners for the first phase is expected to be $3 million. The second $27.8 million phase will support the implementation of these projects, which includes commercialization centres, research parks and other regional initiatives.

Through the development of biotechnology infrastructure projects, the BCIP will accelerate the commercialization of biotech products and services, with the intention of creating new companies and high-quality jobs. The program focuses on commercializing biomedical and bioproducts (such as bio-fuels and bio-chemicals), and integrating these biotechnologies into key industry sectors such as photonics, information technology, automotive, chemicals, agriculture and forestry.

“Soy 20/20 is pleased to see support for the development of provincial bioproduct clusters as these will lead to the emergence of a strong bio-based industry in Ontario,” says Dr Greg Penner, project director, Soy 20/20. “This will initially create more demand for agricultural products by creating alternative market opportunities. Once these markets exist, it will be possible to add value for both end-users and farmers through the development of crop varieties aimed specifically at these markets."