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Posted November 5 , 2013

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Innovation

Government of Canada Partners with Industry to Develop Innovative Materials for Cars and Houses

NRC and industry to turn biomass into plastics and composites

OTTAWA - Greg Rickford, Minister of State, along with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), announced the launch of the Industrial Biomaterials program, a new initiative that will help create more fuel-efficient vehicles and greener construction materials.

"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. "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 Industrial Biomaterials program is a $55-million initiative over five years consisting of a $30 million investment by the NRC, and $25 million generated through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments.

Canadian firms will now be able to transform agricultural and forestry by-products to create new materials and reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers (plastics). Bioresins, biofibers and biocomposites made from Canadian non-food biomass (such as wood, lignin, grain husks, flax and hemp stems) are environmentally friendly and provide alternative ecological options. These will provide manufacturers sustainable and durable green products to use in next-generation automobiles and building materials.

"Agricultural and forestry by-products will be integrated into new materials, which will ultimately reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers," said John R. McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada. "These biomaterials promise to be as safe as the materials currently in use by industry, inexpensive to produce and the ideal lightweight technology for the automotive and construction sectors."

The program will combine resources from Canadian businesses to advance research and development in the manufacturing of industrial biomaterials. It will also help Canada's transportation and construction industries remain competitive in global markets by ensuring that automotive parts manufacturers and green building material suppliers can adopt these leading-edge technologies.

Industrial Biomaterials Program

The use of renewable materials is growing at a fast pace in many industries, including the automotive and construction sectors - the two largest components of the North American composite market. Bioresins, biofibers and bio-composites made from natural biomass (i.e. lignin, sawdust, grain husks, flax and hemp stems) are environmentally friendly and provide alternative ecological options to synthetic materials such as glass and carbon.

The Industrial Biomaterials program will enable Canadian firms to create value by transforming Canadian biomass into engineering products for key industrial sectors and will provide Canada with a sustainable option by displacing petroleum-based resin and composite materials with non-food renewable resources. The program will use agricultural and forestry by-products to create new materials that will reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers (plastics) and give manufacturers alternative green options to use in next-generation automobiles and green building materials.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) focuses on developing materials to replace petroleum-based resins and synthetic fibres.

Research and technology projects focus on the following key industry sectors:

-- Automotive and Ground Transportation: Develop flexible, cost effective
manufacturing of vehicle parts
-- Construction: Develop cost-effective green building materials
-- Biomass Supply: Enable total crop utilization by introducing biomass
materials into the formulation of bioplastics and biocomposites


The Industrial Biomaterials program is a $55 million initiative consisting of a $30 million investment by NRC, and an additional $25 million leveraged through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments.

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