British Columbia’s forest resources and fibre supply have supported the province’s economy and Canada’s GDP for decades. Although these resources have provided the province with natural advantages, relying on conventional products such as lumber, pulp and paper alone will not ensure the long-term success of the forest sector. Shifting global markets present opportunities for BC’s forest industry to offer next generation forest bioproducts to advance a cleaner and more sustainable economy.
Convinced of the opportunity of building BC’s bioeconomy, BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) and FPInnovations have been actively collaborating with academia and industry partners through BC’S Bioproduct Alliance (BioAlliance) in an effort to diversify the forest sector and help lead the sector into the globally emerging bioeconomy.
On March 11th, a one-day symposium was held in Vancouver to grow awareness on the abundant potential of using bio-sourced materials for high-value and high-tech products. The symposium, “Growing the Bioeconomy: Bio-Sourced Materials for High-Tech Applications”, utilized the BCTECH Summit as a platform to bring together key players from industry, government and research organizations from within BC, Canada and Europe.
A well-rounded group of experts provided a glimpse of the high-tech applications using bio-based materials that have already been implemented or are in development. Quite possibly the highlight of the day were two interactive panel sessions. Throughout the symposium, attendees also had the opportunity to view 3D printing demonstrations using innovative methods and materials from universities in the lower mainland.
This is the first public forum on the topic of BC’s bioeconomy. The intention is to continue to grow and collaborate on biomaterials for high-tech applications, eventually transforming BC into an innovation hub in the bioeconomy sector.
This is an edited version of the full article, which appears in the Spring 2019 issue of Pulp and Paper Canada Magazine. For additional information, contact Wadood Hamad, Science Manager, Transformation & Interfaces Group – Bioproducts at FPInnovations.