Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) provides critical strategic investment, advice and services to business developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies. One of these investments is Comet Bio.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Comet Bio, discusses how BIC has significantly supported his company.
Comet Bio is a leading provider of sustainable, high-quality, cost-competitive cellulosic dextrose technology for applications in renewable biochemicals, biofuels and food ingredients. Comet Bio operates a demonstration-scale plant in Rotondella, Italy, owned by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. Comet Bio has announced plans for a commercial sugar plant in Sarnia to convert over 60 million pounds per year of agricultural leftovers into high-quality, sustainable ingredients. The company plans to build, own and operate its own plants and to strategically license its technology to select partners on a worldwide basis to meet the growing demand for bio-based products.
With direct investment in Comet Bio, BIC has significantly helped the company to remove barriers to commercialization and has assisted with critical resources such as the establishment of a partnership with the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative (CSPC).
BIC led a market research study that identified Comet Bio as a key technology provider that could partner with CSPC to develop a cellulosic sugar supply chain in Ontario. BIC also served as a key relationship broker between Comet and CSPC to help foster the relationship.
The purpose of CSPC is to establish an agricultural biomass supply chain within Southern Ontario and produce sugar products and co-products from agricultural biomass in partnership with Comet Bio, which has commercially viable biomass technology and committed markets for the sugar products and co-products. This partnership is key to the future success of Comet and its Sarnia facility.
More specifically, BIC has supported Comet Bio in three ways:
1. Feedstock Supply Program
BIC was instrumental in developing the Comet Bio/CSPC feedstock supply chain, performing the following key services:
Feedstock economics study
Focus groups with local farmers to determine marketing message to farmer producers
Development of CSPC’s offering statement to attract and sign on co-op members
Support with town hall meetings and marketing/communication materials
2. Site Development Services
BIC served a key role in assisting Comet Bio with site and project development services, helping the company work with city officials and assisting in engineering and development efforts.
3. Direct Investment
BIC secured a direct investment in Comet Bio as part of the company's investment syndicate of Sofinnova Partners and PM Equity Partner. Early stage financing is critically important to SMEs to advance new technologies and attract important partnerships.
About Bioindustrial Innovation Canada
Creating jobs and economic sustainability for Canada is the vision driven by Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC).
With support from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, BIC, a not-for-profit business accelerator for sustainable chemistry, has created a successful foundation to support an emerging hybrid chemistry cluster in Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario. BIC recognizes that the expansion and development of the bioeconomy in Sarnia-Lambton can grow alongside the petrochemical industry.
BIC further focuses on critical strategic capital investment in SMEs with compelling business plans where innovation in science and engineering can bring about major advances in sustainable chemistry. Sustainable chemistry is playing an important role in the development of solutions to the impacts of climate change, peak oil, energy security, the need for safe water, and the use of scarce natural resources. The increasing global demand for green and safer products offers the opportunity to create thousands of new jobs for Canadians.
BIC’s proven approach for clean, green and sustainable chemistry-based companies offers an ideal platform for the investment necessary to advance hybrid chemistry value chains, providing not only regional economic development and job benefits, but also access to global markets.
To date, BIC has invested more than $13 million in 27 SME companies, created more than 3600 high quality jobs, and further leveraged $270 million in private sector funding during its investment rounds.