GUELPH Ontario - November 16, 2012 - U of G News Release - The University of Guelph’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) received $2 million today from the federal government.
The funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will be used to purchase equipment and to expand the centre. BDDC scientists turn plant materials into resins, polymers and tough fibres to make biobased plastics and bioproducts.
The funding was announced in Guelph today by Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development and regional minister for southwestern Ontario, on behalf of Gary Goodyear, minister of state.
Finley said the money will help “ensure that researchers have the tools they need to develop and assess new bio-based products that have tremendous commercial applications” and will help provide new jobs.
U of G president Alastair Summerlee added:
“This is an investment in the future. It will allow us to expand and enhance the BDDC, where scientists from across the disciplines are working together on viable solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems. They are finding new uses for agricultural products, creating green alternatives and making Canada a world leader in the field.”
The centre opened in October 2008. Researchers study ways to use soy, wheat, corn and other crops to make everything from car parts and furniture to fuel. They also investigate new crops for use in composite materials. They hope planted-based materials will help reduce our dependency on petroleum-based products.
Rob Gordon, dean of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College, said the BDDC supports and important and evolving role for agriculture.
“It’s a catalyst for innovative green products that will ultimately enhance the value of Ontario’s agriculture sector. It also provides a training environment that will help to further position Ontario as a global leader in bioproducts.”
The BDDC is directed by Amar Mohanty, a professor in U of G’s Department of Plant Agriculture and School of Engineering and holder of the Premier’s Research Chair in Biomaterials and Transportation.
“Bioproducts are the wave of the future,” Mohanty said. “We sincerely thank FedDev Ontario for this timely contribution that will accelerate the creation of innovative green biomaterials-based solutions to create a sustainable competitive advantage for businesses in our province and beyond in the fast-growing bioeconomy.”
Created in 2009 under Canada’s Economic Action Plan, FedDev Ontario is intended to help businesses and communities in southern Ontario to compete globally.