Bioscience Community Honours Laforge Bioenvironmental with New Brunswick Bioscience Achievement AwardJenn O'Donnell October 2, 2015
Fredericton, New Brunswick (October 2nd, 2015) – BioNB, New Brunswick’s bioscience agency, awarded Laforge Bioenvironmental with the New Brunswick Bioscience Achievement Award on Friday, October 2nd at the annual industry event Innovation at the Station. Over 100 members of the business and research community gathered for the presentation of the award and the celebration of the substantial growth experienced by the province’s bioscience sector in recent years.
Laforge has created a multi-million dollar biogas facility that generates clean, renewable energy, where the by-product is nutrient rich organic fertilizer, all the while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste. They operate two anaerobic digesters on a dairy farm in Saint-André, New Brunswick, fuelled only with manure and organic food waste from regional food processors. Each digester is comprised of a lagoon covered by a flexible membrane that captures the biogas (methane) produced when organic material breaks down. The digester mixes the feedstock and the resulting biogas is captured and used as fuel to generate electricity. The two plants generate enough energy (1.6 MWh) to power their entire dairy operation and 1,000 homes in the area.
The Laforge facility is a compelling example of true New Brunswick resourcefulness, transforming residuals from local agriculture and food processors into sustainable, high-value products. The Laforge family has a true entrepreneurial spirit, and they use the expertise learned from their own operations to help other farmers build similar projects. Laforge Bioenvironmental is the only biogas plant in Atlantic Canada.
Other finalists for the award include Mycodev Group, who recently received a $500,000 investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation to build a fermentation facility, and Dr. Erik Scheme, the new NB Innovation Research Chair in Medical Devices who is leveraging both the research and entrepreneurship communities to foster a medical technologies industry in Atlantic Canada.
The team at Laforge Bioenvironmental are always looking for the next innovative opportunity, exploring new equipment or adds-on, evaluating new biomass sources and new product development, either from the heat, gas or fertilizer that they generate. The success of the first digester (1,500 m3 capacity) led to the recent construction of a second larger digester (10,000 m3). They are open to working with academic institutions and leverage the expertise at the CCNB Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Centre where the research team help test and evaluate their digestate product for composition and quality. Rock Laforge (co-owner of Laforge Bioenvironmental) accepted the award on behalf of the company.
About the Bioscience Achievement Award
The New Brunswick Bioscience Achievement Award has been awarded to an outstanding individual in the bioscience community ever since 2004. It aims to recognise outstanding contribution to the growth and promotion of the sector, and has been awarded to researchers, business leaders, and community champions alike. The community submits nominations and a selection committee chooses the final recipient. 2015 marks the largest pool of nominees to date. Learn more here.
About Innovation at the Station
Innovation at the Station is BioNB’s annual networking event for the bioscience community. Now in its third year, the 2015 event saw record engagement with over 100 tickets being sold in under a week. BioNB partners with local vendors and organisations to serve up a 100% locally-sourced menu and drink collection. Learn more here.
BioNB is the trusted bioscience authority in New Brunswick for government, industry, and media, translating and communicating the business opportunities behind the science in a highly technical sector. BioNB builds and enhances new and existing businesses, supports technology transfer from public institutions and the private sector, and works to build a community and enhance collaboration among sector stakeholders.