Bioindustrial Innovation Canada Continues to Help Youth to Next Steps in Careers


SARNIA, Ontario - Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) supports the development of the next generation of highly qualified persons who will lead Canadian innovation. BIC works with industry to understand their needs and endeavour to match youth to jobs. Funding of these experiential learning opportunities, assisting in recruitment and working with educational institutions to adapt curriculum to industry needs is paramount to advancing Canada’s innovation agenda.

In November of 2016 BIC signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with VITO (Flemish Institute for Technology Research) which aims to collaborate on promising bio-based business opportunities. VITO's research focus fits perfectly with BIC's focus on the path to commercialization - climate change, sustainable energy, bio-based chemistry, and biomass conversion. Additionally, VITO’s research is focused on and initiates a social transition. BIC operates like a catalyst - bringing bioeconomy, science and biomass together to build the Canadian bioeconomy.

Students now reach out to BIC to learn more about the organization, new partnerships, or other opportunities that might help accelerate their professional career.

Brett Pomeroy reached out to Murray McLaughlin, an Advisor at BIC, to ask about an international graduate school where he can successfully complete his PhD. After some discussion, Murray connected Brett to VITO.

Brett’s story:

After completing my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University, I had hoped to pursue a career in scientific research. I found the job market to be limited for those without post graduate degrees, so I moved back to London and segued into a Masters of Engineering Science at Western University in Chemical Engineering. My research project on bio-oil upgrading via catalytic hydrodeoxygenation is currently being completed at The Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources, (ICFAR) research facilities.

With the end of my Masters studies quickly approaching, I once again began testing the job market. I began seeking out people and organizations that might lead me to a career in an innovative field related to bio-fuels and renewable energy.

I reached out to Dr. Murray McLaughlin of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada at the Chemical Institute of Canada seminar in Toronto where he was giving a presentation. Murray was very open to listening to my many questions and at offering great advice. He suggested several Canadian organizations as well as several around the world that I should consider and one of them was VITO, in Belgium.

In their words, “VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organization in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today.”

And so, I am extremely excited to say that I will be pursing my PhD at VITO, in collaboration with the University of Antwerp, this December. I know this will be an amazing opportunity to grow as a researcher and to gain a wider perspective on new cultures and countries outside of North America.

Murray McLaughlin, Advisor at BIC stated, “When I met Brett he was beginning to look to his future, even though he had a few months to complete his Masters. His questions were around work or PhD, which had to be his choice, so we discussed options including international graduate school where we were able to connect him to VITO, one of BIC's international partners for building the bioeconomy. Timing was right and we now have a Canadian student that will gain some great international experience doing his PhD in Belgium, experience and learnings he can bring back home to Canada.”

By: Julia Struyf, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada [email protected]


Murray McLaughlin, Advisor, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada [email protected]

- About Bioindustrial Innovation Canada -

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) is a nationally focused not-for-profit organization based in Sarnia, Ontario. The Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) acts as a hub for the commercialization of sustainable chemistry and bio-based innovation, providing businesses and technical support to participating small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southern Ontario. COMM SCI was established with a $12-million contribution from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Investing in Regional Diversification initiative and additional support from the Government of Ontario's Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science. Bioindustrial Innovation Canada creates jobs and economic value sustainably for Canada. We provide critical strategic investment, advice and services to business developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies. Our expertise in commercialization builds a stronger Canada. For more information please visit:

- About VITO –

VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organization in the areas of clean tech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today. As an independent and customer-oriented research organization, VITO provides innovative technological solutions and offers scientifically based advice and support to industries and governments. VITO has 750 highly-qualified employees who work on international projects all around the world. VITO’s headquarters are located in Flanders, and it has subsidiaries in China and Qatar.​

For more information please visit: