The McGuinty Government is helping Sarnia-Lambton’s petrochemical industry develop environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuels by supporting a new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre, Minister of Culture Caroline Di Cocco announced today on behalf of the Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty.
“We are on the side of Ontarians who want a prosperous economy and a clean environment,” said Premier McGuinty. “This project is helping Ontario become a leader in environmental protection and driving the new knowledge-based economy that is based on creative, forward-thinking ideas, leading-edge research and new technologies.”
The new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre will connect researchers and the local petrochemical industry to create and commercialize new sources of clean fuel. The centre, acting in partnership with others in the community, is expected to attract over $1 billion in private sector investment by 2014, immediately support up to 1,000 jobs in research and engineering, and help attract new bioindustrial plants to the petrochemical industry in Sarnia.
“A good part of Ontario’s industrial base was built on energy and chemicals created from fossil fuels right here in Sarnia-Lambton,” said Minister Di Cocco. “This new innovation centre will leverage that expertise and infrastructure, and make Ontario a leader in developing renewable alternatives. The result will be a competitive new industry that is also environmentally sustainable.”
Located at the University of Western Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, the centre will help support the development of a bio-hybrid chemical industry. The McGuinty government is committing $10 million to the project, which is also receiving support from the University of Western Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, the City of Sarnia and Lambton County.
A retrofit of 60,000 sq. ft. of existing laboratory space will provide a commercialization centre with incubator suites, laboratory equipment, pilot plant space, and growth space for start-up companies. An additional 60,000 sq. ft. of new office space will serve as an accelerator centre to house Colt Engineering, a current tenant of the research park. Colt Engineering is a rapidly growing company specializing in project management of ethanol, biodiesel, and bio-chemical plants, as well as traditional petrochemical facilities.
“The centre will support both research and commercialization,” said Minister
Di Cocco. “There is widespread industry and community support for a hybrid industry that integrates the traditional petrochemical industry with the new bioeconomy. The Bioindustrial Innovation Centre is a strategic use of existing industry and infrastructure to achieve industrial scale biotechnology. It is a big step forward in building the Ontario of the future with clean, green jobs.”
Investing in research and innovation is another example of how the McGuinty government is working on the side of businesses and families to strengthen Ontario’s economy.
Other initiatives include:
• Attracting over $7 billion in new investment announcements in the auto sector, creating as many as 7,000 new jobs
• Introducing the $160-million Ideas to Market strategy to grow new start-ups and drive innovative discoveries rapidly from the lab to the marketplace
• Investing $6.2 billion in postsecondary education and student financial assistance and training by 2009-10 — the most significant multi-year investment in Ontario’s higher education system in 40 years.
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For more information contact:
Senior Media Advisor, Ministry of Research & Innovation