The federal government has announced an investment of up to $7 million to the Biomass Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Cluster, led by the BioFuelNet Canada Network, will include an additional $3.1 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $10.1 million.
"Our Government is proud to support innovation that will help position Canada's agricultural sector as a leader in the production of bioenergy and other bioproducts," said AAFC Minister Lawrence MacAulay. "This investment in biomass research will help farmers manage agricultural waste, reduce energy costs and environmental impacts, while creating new market opportunities for Canadian bioenergy."
This new research cluster will drive innovation and help improve technologies for processing agricultural biomass, including waste material, which can then be used as a renewable and sustainable starting material for production of cleaner bioenergy, and other bio-based products. The cluster will focus on three key areas of research including:
- Advanced technologies to boost biomass production;
- Using biomass heat and energy to extend the greenhouse growing season in Northern Canada; and
- Reducing production costs and expanding export markets for biomass.
As part of the research cluster, McGill University will receive up to $888,061 in funding for a project that will focus on the development of biological inputs that will enhance the growth of biomass crops including switchgrass.