Canada’s National Bioeconomy Strategy

Canada joins the list of countries with a national bioeconomy strategy Andrew Byrne May 15, 2019

Thanks to hundreds of industry leaders and bioeconomy representatives and our many partners and sponsors Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, BIOTECanada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, and FPInnovations, BC Bioenergy, BioAlberta, Ag-West Bio, Bioscience Association Manitoba, Manitoba Agriculture, Ontario AgriFood Technologies, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Consortium de recherche et innovations en bioprocédés industriels au Québec, and Nova Scotia Innovation Hub, Canada has finally joined the ranks of worldwide countries with a dedicated bioeconomy strategy.

Industry leaders came together to create “Canada’s Bioeconomy Strategy: Leveraging our Strengths for a Sustainable Future” which will hopefully lead the way in promoting a sustainable, circular bioeconomy in Canada.

If you read the full report here https://www.bincanada.ca/biodesign you will notice, there are 4 broad recommendations proposed:

  1. Regulations and government policies need to be able to change based on current and future advancements in biotech and bioproducts.
  2. Agricultural and forest lands are crucial, and we need to establish biomass supply and stewardship.
  3. We need to build and promote strong companies and value chains.
  4. Companies from across the value chain must come together to leverage opportunities both within Canada and internationally.

The six takeaways from the Strategy are:

  1. Canadian policies and programs need to be relevant to the current and future state of advanced biotechnologies and bioproducts to enable the bioeconomy in Canada to flourish.
  2. Canada needs to properly value its natural capital to ensure the highest valorization of feedstocks to realize the optimum impact on the economy.
  3. Anchor companies are necessary to the bioeconomy and the Canadian economy more generally. Anchor companies require greater access to risk and patient capital; business services that can assist the later stages of commercialization; support for building strong ecosystems; and support to enable new models for collaboration within commercial value chains.
  4. The promise of biomass development and processing is necessary for the development of rural and northern economies. This is best achieved by ensuring access to broadband, adoption of in-field processing, improved transportation infrastructure, and the skills to adopt best practices.
  5. Policies and regulations governing the key sectors of the bioeconomy – agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture – need to be coherent with the development of technologies, and accountabilities need to be structured so as to permit more timely responses.
  6. This industry driven Bioeconomy Strategy is a key element of a well-planned Circular Economy for Canada.

The Strategy also includes 11 case studies that illustrate the challenges and opportunities in the development of Canada’s bioeconomy.

Like several other countries have already figured out, having a dedicated bioeconomy strategy in place ensures a country minimises its negative impact on the world while maximising its sustainability and opportunities for economic growth. We look forward to working with our partners both old and new in the coming years to implement the recommendations laid out in this report.

BioNB was honoured to participate in the creation of Canada’s first bioeconomy strategy and to play a lead role in the industry consultation and writing activities that lead up to its release. Any questions you may have about Canada’s Bioeconomy Strategy can be sent to Sandy Marshall, Executive Director at Bioindustrial Innovation Canada at sandym@bincanada.ca

 

 

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