Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
Aibio Home Banners New1Aibio Home Banners New2Aibio Home Banners New3Aibio Home Banners New4Aibio Home Banners New5Aibio Home Banners New6Aibio Home Banners New7Aibio Home Banners New8Aibio Home Banners New9Aibio Home Banners New10
Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors

Glossary of words relevant to the work of AI Bio

This section, which will grow over time, is a glossary of some of the words relevant to the work of AI Bio in order to develop a common understanding of the language. Some terms are consistent with definitions used by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology in the Roles and Mandates Framework for Alberta's Provincially Funded Research and Innovation System and are indicated by "AET R&I Framework, 2008."


Alberta Innovates or Alberta Innovates System - Alberta Innovates or Alberta Innovates System refers to five direction-setting publically funded agencies, leading the province's research and innovation activities in areas of priority for the Alberta government. Reporting to the Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, Alberta Innovates comprises one advisory group: Alberta Research and Innovation Authority; and four board-governed corporations: Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, and Alberta Innovates Technology Solutions.

Alberta Innovates Network - The Alberta Innovates network refers to the five Alberta Innovates agencies and other innovation support organizations, including: the Alberta Enterprise Corporation, innovation and technology commercialization service providers, and post-secondary institutions. Together, these organizations help advance research and innovation in Alberta through programs, services, funding and investment.

Applied Research - Applied research refers to original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. (AET R&I Framework, 2008; OECD 2002)

Basic Research - Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view. (AET R&I Framework, 2008; OECD 1993)

Biochemicals - Chemicals produced, at least in part, from biomass, rather than petroleum based inputs. Biochemicals are sometimes referred to as bio-based chemicals and plant-based chemicals. e.g., corn sugars used as chemical building blocks [Source:]

Bioeconomy - Bioeconomy is an economy in which industrial products and energy are made from plant, tree and animal resources.

Bioenergy - Bioenergy is electricity produced from biomass fuel. Feedstock may be used directly or first processed into liquid and gaseous fuels (biodiesel, biogas, methane). e.g., manure to biogas to green power

Biofuels - Includes fuels, such as ethanol, biodiesel, methane, methanol, and hydrogen, which were obtained by converting biomass into a liquid or gaseous fuel. e.g., canola oil to biodiesel and glycerine [Source:]

Bioindustries - Bioindustries are industries, which have, at their root, biological processes or natural elements. Such industries include forestry, functional foods, agriculture, biochemicals and biorefining. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Biomass - Biomass is woody or plant material, as well as organic animal and municipal wastes, that can be used as feedstocks for energy and chemical production.

Biomass crop - Biomass crop is a rapidly-growing tree having a form that may not be suitable for timber production, but has wood fibre suitable for developing into bioenergy or bioproducts. 

Biomaterials - Processed or engineered materials fully or partly comprised of biomass components (it is also referred to as bio-based materials). Examples of biomaterials include soy-based foam, and composites incorporating agricultural or wood fibres. e.g., hemp fibres in industrial textiles or acoustic tiles [Source:]

Bioproducts - Bioproducts are manufactured products, such as forest products, derived from biomass. Biorefining techologies may lead to the creation of new bioproducts.

Biorefinery - Biorefinery is a facility, such as a pulp mill, capable of fully capitalizing on all product streams such as chemicals, fuels and pulp. The facility may use conversion technologies such as fermentation, combustion, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, thermal depolymerization or gasification to convert biomass (input) into transportation fuel, heat, electricity, or chemicals (output).

Biotechnology - Biotechnology is the science of biology used to create new products by manipulating the molecules of organic matter in the forestry, agriculture, food or health sectors.

Commercialization Support Services - Commercialization support services are services offered by organizations to enable the growth, development, attraction and retention of successful companies by meeting clients' needs through an appropriate mix of incentives, programs and services. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Competitive Advantage - Competitive advantage refers to some characteristic or capability that places a company, a person or region above the competition. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Enablers - Enablers are organizations seeking to transform research and innovation into commercial opportunities.(AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Experimental Development - Experimental development refers to systematic work that draws on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience that is directed to producing new materials, products or devices; to installing new processes, systems and services; or to substantially improving those already produced or installed (OECD 2002).  Experimental development can be considered a component of applied research.

Funders - Funders are organizations or agencies that provide funding for performers to enable research and innovation. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

HQSP (Highly Qualified and Skilled People) - Developed in the context of the 'knowledge economy', the term 'highly qualified and skilled people' has come to mean people whose education and/or skills are critical to an activity in that economy. In the context of research it applies not only to principal investigators but also to their graduate students, post doctoral fellows and technical support staff. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Innovation - Innovation is the introduction of a new idea, product, service or device in the marketplace. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Intellectual Property - Intellectual property (IP) is a legally protected 'knowledge' asset.  Intellectual property is traditionally divided into two branches: industrial property and copyright. IP is seen as an economically tangible way of deriving benefit from knowledge creation and innovation. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Jurisdictional advantage - Jurisdictional advantage is the competitive advantage a jurisdiction achieves over its competitors by creating a unique activity that is anchored in the jurisdiction, which is accomplished either by an advantage of low cost or by way of differentiation. The way to achieve jurisdictional advantage is to create a competitive strategy that is consistent with trends in global industry and appropriate to the jurisdiction's resources and capabilities that others will find difficult to replicate. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Knowledge-based Economy ("next generation economy")- A knowledge-based economy is an economy in which knowledge embedded in products (goods and services) is the basis of added value and not simply the ability to manufacture efficiently. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Knowledge-based Industry - Knowledge-based industry means a sector of economic activity concerned with products and services that are based on the innovative application of new or novel technology that has been derived from a significant amount of knowledge input. It can be characterized by the following: information technology, communications technology, life sciences technology, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and environmental technology, but does not exclude any other sector. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Open Innovation - Open innovation is a set of principles that characterizes how government, academia and companies look outside their organizational boundaries for sources of new ideas and innovations. It encapsulates a single intellectual property management policy and knowledge transfer practices that encourages the rapid and uninhibited access and commercial adoption of intellectual property. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Performers - Performers are organizations including post-secondary institutions as well as research organizations that are actively conducting research and innovation activities. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Platform Technologies - Platform technologies refers to the key technologies extensively used by many knowledge-based industries, for example genomics and related "omics". (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Pre-Capitalized Infrastructure - Pre-capitalized infrastructure refers to the technical equipment, product development centres, incubators and other facilities and equipment available in an open-access and shared environment with no overhead costs passed on to the innovation client.

Priority Research - Priority research is research and innovation related to Government of Alberta priorities and linked with the mandates of the Government of Alberta ministries. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Provincially Funded Research and Innovation System ("the Alberta Innovates network")- The provincially funded research and innovation system in Alberta includes all organizations that receive public funding to conduct rese arch and innovation in the province and who collaborate on elevating Alberta into the knowledge (next generation) economy.

Renewable resource - Renewable resource is a resource whose supply becomes available for use at different time intervals and in which present use does not diminish future supply.

Research and Innovation System - Alberta's research and innovation system includes all organizations that receive public and/or private funding to conduct research and innovation in the province and who collaborate on elevating Alberta into the knowledge (next generation) economy. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Sustainability - Sustainability is the capacity of forests and other natural resources to maintain their health, productivity, diversity and overall integrity, in the long run, in the context of human activity and use.

Sustainable forest management - Sustainable forest management is the practice of meeting society's current demands on the forest resource without compromising the similar capability of future generations.

Technology Commercialization - Technology commercialization is the process of introducing a new product, service or process into the market. (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Technology Transfer - Technology transfer is the dissemination and adoption of knowledge, products or processes between government, industry, institution and/or academia.

Transformational change - Transformational change is radical rather than incremental. The implementation of transformational strategy often requires a departure from tradition and involves risk.

Value-added Industries - Value-added industries refers to industries where the additional value created is a measure of output which is potentially comparable across countries and economic structures. For example, primary sector revenues can be increased through the development of value-added products and processes such as shipping a ready-made meal rather than just the raw ingredients. Value-added activities require significant returns to equal revenues generated by the primary sector alone (value-added is incremental revenue). (AET R&I Framework, 2008)

Value Chain - Value chain is a set of companies, individuals or processes working together to satisfy market demands for a product in the most efficient manner possible.



To suggest a new word and its definition, please contact

Last updated: Friday, January 15, 2016