Bioindustrial Innovation Canada gets federal funding to expand

(L to R) BIC Project Manager Michael Faba, Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly, Parliamentary Secretary Kate Young and BIC Board Chair Bill White discuss Woodland Biofuels demonstration plant in Sarnia. February 13, 2020. Photo by Melanie Irwin.

Sarnia-based Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has received $15 million in federal funding to expand.

Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly made the announcement at the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park Thursday.

Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly. February 13, 2020. Photo by Melanie Irwin.

Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly. 

She said the funding will help create 600 jobs, maintain another 100 and help support 150 businesses and organizations.

“We’re trying to find a way as a government to really support innovation and create new types of jobs and to also make sure that we protect the jobs that are in place right now,” said Joly. “So, that’s why we decided to make these investments because they’re key to the fact that we need to diversify the economy.”

BIC Project Manager Michael Faba said they’ll be able to enter into individual projects with companies and make strategic investments.

“We are a non-profit business accelerator of clean, green, renewable technologies and companies that have those technologies, so this allows us to further support those companies in their development. From start-up, early stage, through to commercial demonstration and sales and ultimately success.”

BIC will also create the Ontario Bioindustrial Innovation Network by developing a secondary cluster in Brockville.

The organization was formed in 2008 and has helped create over 3,600 jobs, through 20 projects, 27 investments and 17 partners.

Companies like Woodland Biofuels, Origin Materials, Benefuel, Comet Biorefining and the former BioAmber have received support from Bioindustrial Innovation Canada.