Stemergy: Renewable Fibre Technology

Ontario Government to Invest in Renewable Auto Technologies

8 March 2007

MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT HELPS OPEN NEW MARKETS FOR FARMERS

$5.9-Million Investment In Renewable Auto Technologies Will Help Build Prosperity In Rural Ontario

QUEEN'S PARK -- The McGuinty government is strengthening Ontario's agri-food sector by investing in cutting-edge research that will find new ways to use farm and forest products in the auto sector, Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty announced today.

"By investing in innovative technologies, we can turn homegrown ideas into homegrown jobs," said Premier McGuinty. "These initiatives will help make Ontario a world leader in bio-based automotive manufacturing and help us protect our environment for generations to come."

The McGuinty government is investing over $5.9 million in the Ontario BioCar Initiative, a research project to turn Ontario's harvest such as wheat, corn, soybeans and forest biomass into viable materials for the auto industry. The government is also investing $255,000 in the Ontario BioAuto Council to help move these emerging technologies into the marketplace and attract jobs and investment.

"The key to success is how fast and how economically we can make these materials match the performance of the existing plastics, composites and metals," explained Mohini Sain, who will lead the BioCar project at the University of Guelph, where he is an adjunct professor. "This research will make sure Ontario stays on the forefront of this emerging area."

"We will ensure Ontario is positioned to capture a substantial share of what is projected to be a $50-billion global market for bioplastics by the year 2015," said Ontario BioAuto Council Executive Director Terry Daynard.

"Ontario farmers are among the most creative and innovative in the world," said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky. "By supporting bio-based research, we can help farmers pursue exciting new markets, create jobs and build prosperity in our rural communities."

Investing in innovative research and commercialization is the latest example of how the McGuinty government is working on the side of rural communities to strengthen Ontario's economy.

Other initiatives include:

Investing over $910 million in farm income stabilization and support programs

Creating a $520-million Ontario Ethanol Growth Fund to support the construction of ethanol plants that will build opportunity and create jobs in rural communities

Investing $188 million through Move Ontario to repair and upgrade rural roads and bridges

Investing $40 million annually in agri-food research and innovation.

"To succeed in today's economy, we need to develop new ideas and turn those ideas into exciting new products and services that we can market to the world," said Premier McGuinty. "By investing in research and innovation, and the skills and knowledge of our people, we can ensure Ontario remains the place to be for years to come."

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Stemergy bio-fiber is focused on producing and supplying renewable bio-fibres - derived from annual stem fiber plants such as flax and hemp - to the expanding global bio-fiber marketplace.