NRC launches biomaterials program

By Erin Voegele | November 06, 2013

The National Research Council of Canada has launched its Industrial Biomaterials program. The new $55 million, five-year initiative is designed to help create more fuel-efficient vehicles and greener construction materials. The NRC is investing $30 million in the program, with $25 million generated through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments.

"This new program will strengthen Canada’s role as a leader in the development of innovative, and sustainable materials and technologies," said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "This is yet another example of how we’re ensuring more ideas get to the marketplace, as this program integrates the expertise of the NRC with the business know-how of Canadian industry leaders to manufacture new lightweight, cost-effective and bio-sourced materials for next generation vehicles and homes, to improve the quality of life of Canadians."

The initiative focuses on the production of bio-reins, bio-fibers and bio-composites made from Canadian non-food biomass, such as wood, lignin, grain husks, flax and hemp stems.

Regarding partnership opportunities, the NRC said it is welcoming collaborators form across the biomaterials supply chain, from seed and crop developers to growers, processors and industrial product manufacturers. The organization added that partners in its flagship Industrial Biomaterials program will benefit from world-class facilities, expertise and access to the latest innovations in industrial biomaterials.

Last month, the NRC launched another program related to biomass. The Bioenergy Systems for Viable Stationary Applications initiative is designed to help Canadian companies capitalize on the opportunities of bioenergy by overcoming technical and cost barriers associated with integrating local sourced biomass into stationary heat and power systems.