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In her first speech as Canada’s Finance Minister, Honourable Christina Freeland, she stated that the “restart of the economy needs to be green”.  The virtual BioDesign Conference will focus on how Canada can leverage its competitive advantages to make it a world leader in fighting climate change while building a stronger and greener economy.  Canada’s competitive advantages are:

  • access to biomass,

  • global leadership in forestry and agriculture,

  • sustainable resource management, and

  • a skilled workforce


The world economy including Canada’s has gone through a significant disruption in 2020.  Many countries are focusing on the transformation from a linear economy of take, make and discard to a circular economy.  These countries are now assessing how best to imbed the industrial bioeconomy into this strategy. This will be accomplished by imbedding renewable feedstocks enabling a significant “greening” of the circular economy. Combining these strategies creates the opportunity for society to address the existential threat of climate change head on through reducing our reliance on fossil-based feedstocks and creating a truly sustainable low carbon circular economy focused on the reuse of our limited resources.

The 3rd annual Canadian
BioDesign Conference


A virtual and interactive conference.


'How the Canadian Industrial Bioeconomy can Transform Canada's Economy'


This year BioDesign was 2-hour interactive panel discussions over 3 days on September 9, 10 & 11.


The vision of Canada’s Bioeconomy Strategy is to promote the highest valorization of Canadian biomass and residuals while promoting the objectives of a reduced carbon footprint and effective stewardship of natural capital for generations.

The development of a vigorous bioeconomy is the platform that will help society address environmental challenges and continue the evolution of biorefineries that will reduce Canada’s dependence on fossil fuels. The benefits will be sustainable economic growth, particularly for rural economies, and the creation of new highly skilled jobs.


Speakers and Themes:

  1. Stephane Renou, CEO, FPInnovations - Click here for presentation

  2. Bill Greuel, President, Protein Industries Supercluster - Click here for presentation

  3. Dex Hsu, General Manager, LCY Biosciences, spoke on the opportunity to use platform biochemicals for the production of sustainable bioproducts

  4. Joop Groen, Member of Executive Board, Circular Biobased Delta - Click here for presentation


See Day 1 Recording Here: 

day one

Wednesday, September 9

Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm EST

Panel 1: Leveraging Biomass for Sustainable Bioproducts

Moderator: A.J. (Sandy) Marshall, Executive Director, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC)

  • YouTube
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Stephane Renou

Bill Greuel

Dex Hsu

Joop Groen

Image by Jan Kopřiva


Using renewable raw materials for the production of fuels and carbon sequestration in long life bioproducts are powerful strategies to transform Canada to a low carbon economy. Today, the biofuels, bioenergy and building construction materials sectors are challenged in most jurisdictions to compete with the size and scale of the fossil carbon-based competitors. Government regulation and policy is required to enable this nascent industry to innovate and grow to a scale where they can compete effectively with the incumbent. One successful example has been the implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California and British Columbia. Canada is now embarking on a parallel policy approach through its Renewable Fuel Standard. Parallel opportunities exist for the support of low carbon bioproducts such as tall building wood construction, biopolymers and biocarbon that can sequester carbon for long durations.


Speakers and Themes:

  1. Dan Pfeffer, Senior Advisor & Client Director, Public Affairs Advisors (PAA) - Click here for presentation

  2. Fred Ghatala, Director for Carbon and Sustainability, Advanced Biofuels Canada - Click here for presentation

  3. Christopher Bush, President, Catalyst Agri-Innovations Society from British Columbia - Click here for presentation

  4. Patrick Lavoie, Senior Scientist, Environment and Sustainability, FPInnovations - Click here for presentation


See Day 2 Recording Here: 

day two

Thursday, September 10

Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm EST

Panel 2: Transforming to a Low Carbon Economy

Moderator: Andrew Casey, President and Chief Executive Director, BIOTECanada

  • YouTube
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Dan Pfeffer

Fred Ghatala

Christopher Bush

Patrick Lavoie


The current economic model is based on a linear approach of TAKE – MAKE – DISCARD.  It is now broadly recognized that this economic model can not continue as resources are limited to what is available on the planet Earth.  This model is being disrupted by climate change and moving to a circular economic model is essential for the long term survival of mankind on this planet.  How can we change our manufacturing mentality with programs that recover, recycle and reuse effectively and efficiently?  The Europeans have embraced circularity as core to their climate change initiatives and have identified pathways where the circular bioeconomy can provide additional low carbon benefits.


Speakers and Themes:

  1. Dirk Carrez, Executive Director, BIConsortium, Belgium - Click here for presentation

  2. Freek van Eijk, Vice President, Circular BioBased Delta 

  3. Dave Smardon, Executive Director, Bioenterprise - Click here for presentation

  4. Tracy Casavant, Managing Director, NISP Canada and Circular Economy, Light House - Click here for presentation


See Day 3 Recording Here: 

day three

Friday, September 11

Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm EST

Panel 3: Disrupting the Linear Economy and Going Circular

Moderator: Jennifer O'Donnell, Executive Director, BioNB

  • YouTube
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Dirk Carrez

Freek Van Eijk

Dave Smardon

Tracy Casavant


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supporting organizations to the canadian biodesign conference 2020

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