In Canada, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Parliamentary Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant and Member of Parliament, Francis Scarpaleggia, were at the Macdonald Campus at McGill University to announce a federal investment of up to C$7 million to the Biomass Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Cluster, led by the BioFuelNet Canada Network, will include an additional C$3.1 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of C$10.1 million.
This new research cluster will drive innovation and help improve technologies for processing agricultural biomass, including waste material, which can then be used as a renewable and sustainable starting material for production of cleaner bioenergy, and other bio-based products. The cluster will focus on three key areas of research including:
- • Advanced technologies to boost biomass production;
- • Using biomass heat and energy to extend the greenhouse growing season in Northern Canada; and
- • Reducing production costs and expanding export markets for biomass.
- • As part of the research cluster, McGill University will receive up to C$888,061 in funding for a project that will focus on the development of biological inputs that will enhance the growth of biomass crops including switchgrass.