August 20-27, 2007

Bioindustrial research centre will link govt, industry, academic researchers in clean fuel R&D

SARNIA, ONT-A new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre to be established at the University of Western Ontario's Sarnia-Lambton Research Park will connect researchers with the Sarnia-Lambton petrochemical industry to create and commercialize new sources of environmentally friendly clean fuel, thus integrating the renewable bio-based industry into the traditional petrochemical industry. The Ontario government is committing $10 million to the project; this investment will leverage over $15 million in support from the UWO research park, the city of Sarnia and Lambton County over the next two years. The project includes renovating a 60,000-square-foot research facility formerly occupied by Dow Chemical Canada as well as constructing 60,000 square feet of new "green building" space. The retrofit of the existing laboratory space will provide a commercialization centre with incubator suites, laboratory equipment, pilot plant space and growth space for start-up companies. The new office space will serve as an accelerator centre to house Colt Engineering, a current tenant of the research park. Colt Engineering specializes in managing ethanol, biodiesel, and bio-chemical plant projects, as well as traditional petrochemical facilities. Working in partnership with the community, the new centre is expected to attract over $1 billion in private sector investment by 2014. In addition to immediately supporting up to 1,000 jobs in research and engineering, the centre will act as a catalyst to help attract new bioindustrial plants to Sarnia. Other research partners include UWO, Lambton College and the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute, which includes the University of Toronto, Queen's, Waterloo, McMaster and Western.

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