B.C.’s forest bioeconomy conference cultivates jobs, opportunities
June 20, 2023
By Government of B.C.
From June 19-21 in Vancouver, the Forest Innovation and Bioeconomy Conference is bringing together leaders in forestry, government and academia to discuss how to grow the forest bioeconomy, create opportunities for people and communities, and reduce waste.
“B.C. is boosting our globally competitive forest bioeconomy as another step toward a renewable, waste-free economy and strong forest sector,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “The Forest Innovation and Bioeconomy Conference brings together many key forestry partners to build on the knowledge and innovation that already exists in communities across the province.”
The forest bioeconomy manufactures high-value bioproducts throughout British Columbia, largely using forest fibre that was once considered waste. Bioproducts include commercial, industrial or consumer goods made wholly or substantially from renewable organic plant material, known as biomass.
“NanoTerraTech is excited to be part of this important conference as the transition to a new bioeconomy is critical for the sustainability of our planet and its people,” said Connie Ekelund, chief executive officer, NanoTerraTech. “We’d like to thank the B.C. Ministry of Forests for their vision of bringing together stakeholders to accelerate this generational opportunity.”
With countries around the world aiming to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels and the amount of non-organic materials going to landfills, the growth potential and projected market size for bioproducts is anticipated to surpass traditional forest products. As set out in CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030, the Province aims to achieve commercial scale production of bioproducts by 2030.
“The Forest Innovation and Bioeconomy Conference provides an amazing venue to showcase our cutting-edge, smart bioink technology that has been developed by award-winning biotechnology company, Axolotl Biosciences, to the forest bioeconomy sector,” said Stephanie Willerth, founder, Axolotl Biosciences. “We hope this event leads to further collaborations both here in British Columbia and internationally.”
The Forest Innovation and Bioeconomy Conference is hosted by the B.C. government and sponsored by FPInnovations, the University of British Columbia’s BioProducts Institute, Paper Excellence, and the BC Council of Forest Industries. The conference will draw approximately 200 government, industry, academic and Indigenous delegates from around the world to learn about global bioproduct research and the latest commercialization opportunities.
- By 2030, the global market for forest bioproducts is estimated to reach $670 billion.
- B.C. has more certified forest land than any other jurisdiction in the world (with the exception of Canada as a whole) ensuring a sustainable biomass supply chain to support the bioeconomy.
- Since 2017, the Province has been working with First Nations and stakeholders to modernize the sector by making Indigenous Peoples full partners in forest management, better caring for ancient and rare forests, and securing innovative jobs and community benefits for future generations.
- Forestry is one of B.C.’s most important industries, employing approximately 43,000 people in 2020, accounting for one-third of the province’s export value, and adding $5.6 billion to B.C.’s gross domestic value.
- Over the next few years, the Province intends to focus on high-value bioproducts, such as biochemicals and biomaterials.
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