Our vision is to promote the greatest possible value of Canadian biomass and residual products while promoting the goals of reducing the carbon footprint and the efficient stewardship of natural capital for generations to come. The development of a rigorous bioeconomy is the platform that will help society respond to environmental challenges and continue the evolution of biorefineries and clusters that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Benefits include sustainable economic growth, particularly for rural economies, and the creation of new high-skilled jobs.
BioDesign is an industry-led consortium of companies, associations, academic and research institutions from several sectors that is focused on using the potential of Canada’s natural resources to accelerate Canada’s transition to a sustainable, low-carbon society. Its advocates believe that a new global biomass-based industry is evolving, that the industry will grow rapidly, and that Canada has a unique opportunity to participate and lead the development of this new industry as a key participant.
BioDesign has the potential to generate $6 billion in economic growth; 64,200 new direct and indirect jobs; and a reduction in greenhouse gases of 4 million tonnes per year.
Canada’s Bioeconomy Strategy
In May 2019, BioDesign released Canada’s first national bioeconomy strategy, representing the vision of more than 400 industry representatives from across the country.
The Strategy recommends action on four key priority areas identified in foundational work by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the Economic Sector Strategy Tables, and Canada’s forestry ministers. These priority areas are:
- Implementing a modernized regulatory system that enables innovation, provides certainty to industry and enables the bioeconomy;
- Establishing exemplary stewardship of Canada’s natural capital including agricultural and forestry;
- Having a business climate that supports the scaling up of Canadian companies and makes Canada a leading nation in the bioeconomy and a country in which to invest; and
- Supporting a strong sustainable innovation ecosystem with an emphasis on high performing clusters, job training and skills development.
Consultations with industry concluded that a national strategy was needed to fully advance Canada’s bioeconomy. The Strategy recognizes the role of innovation clusters and ecosystems, which are key to advancing Canada’s bioeconomy. These ecosytems facilitate links between producers, SMEs and large companies throughout the value chain, both domestically and internationally, and include biomass producers and processors, as well as companies manufacturing products producing bioenergy, biofuels, biochemicals, biomaterials, and consumer products.
With this Strategy, the industry has identified ways in which Canada’s competitive advantages, including access to biomass, international leadership in forestry and agriculture, sustainable resource management and a workforce can make Canada a world leader.
The recommendations focus on commercializing innovation to enable the growth of larger companies, and on the adoption of Canadian products and processes in international value chains.
The recommendations call on the government to develop policies and regulations and to provide support to businesses and the agriculture and forestry sectors in order to adopt practices and new technologies that improve the stewardship of natural resources and increase productivity.