Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
Bioindustrial Innovation

Utilizing the full potential of Alberta's biomass

Fact Sheet

Alberta is investing in converting the province's biomass resources beyond traditional commodities into higher-value products. These new products increase economic returns from Alberta's renewable natural resources. Accelerating growth of the bioeconomy can help diversify the provincial economy and strengthen rural communities. 

Biomass includes agriculture and forestry fibre, byproducts and other feedstocks such as livestock manure and municipal solid waste. 

New Products

AI Bio aims to advance the bioeconomy in Alberta by investing in research and development in areas such as feedstock improvement, purpose-grown crops and in technologies to produce new products.

Products generated by new technologies that utilize biomass may include:

  • Bioplastics
  • Specialty chemicals
  • Composite materials
  • Bioenergy
  • Cellulose nanocrystals (formerly called nanocrystalline cellulose)

New Conversion Processes

Biorefining presents a growth and diversification opportunity for effective biomass utilization. Through investment in research and the expansion of biorefining networks, AI Bio facilitates the development of new technologies, the optimized efficiency of thermal, chemical and biological conversion processes for biomass, and pilot and scale-up of technologies and products.


AI Bio's Projects, Programs and Initiatives


For a listing of AI Bio's research projects focused on advancing the bioeconomy, view the summary excel spreadsheet at Project Investments by Fiscal Year or visit our BioLINK research project database for specific projects.

Drayton Valley Fibre Mat Plant 

BioComposites Group (BCG) operates Canada's only facility using engineered mat technology to transform renewable forest and agriculture waste fibre into products. AI Bio's predecessor organization, the Alberta Forest Research Institute (AFRI), was instrumental in initiating development of the plant in 2009 with an investment of $4.5 million.

Aug 2014

News Story

Cars made out of …Wood? (Logging and Sawmill Journal)

Nov 25, 2013

News Story 

Fibremat plant set to enter market. 

Aug, 2013 Success Story  First engineered fibre mat plant in North America opening in Drayton Valley 
Apr 4, 2013 News Release Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program - TTS receives $4.5 million
Dec 6, 2012 News Release

BioComposites Group Partners with TechStyles

Mar, 2011 Success Story

Drayton Valley invests in bio-industry 

Jan 23, 2009 News Release 

Funding spurs eco-friendly innovation in forestry and ag sectors


Alberta Bio Future

Alberta Bio Future (ABF) is AI Bio's flagship bioindustrial program. It aims to expand a competitive, sustainable and profitable bioindustrial sector. The focus is primarily on projects that add value to biomass in agriculture and forestry, and create new and improved bioindustrial products and bioindustrial technologies.

ABF provides funding in three strategic priority areas: research and innovation, product and technology commercialization, and equipment utilization.

This program is slated to run until March 2019.

Advanced Materials and Chemicals Program

This program was announced on February 27, 2012, and extended in 2015. Projects funded under the Advanced Materials and Chemicals Program (AMCP), are focused on  commercializing the conversion of Alberta's biomass to advanced materials and chemicals. 

February 27, 2012

News Release

Funding spurs new bioproducts from Alberta biomass


BioE Initiative

In collaboration with stakeholders in government, academia and industry, AI Bio led development of recommendations to advance Alberta's bioeconomy, focusing on the non-food, non-pharma bioindustrial sector. Released in May 2013, strategies arising from the report may lead to new approaches to investments and alignment of resources in those areas of the bioeconomy with the highest potential. Learn More.

 Bioeconomy Alberta Initiative

Coordinated by AI Bio, BioEconomy Alberta is an informal network supporting the development of Alberta's bioeconomy sector by providing technical and business knowledge to new and expanding bioventures. The Bioeconomy Alberta team, which includes AI Bio staff, promotes the sector outside of the province and at trade shows and conferences, including the annual BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing.  

Read below for stories relating to Bioeconomy Alberta:

June 21, 2013

Success Story 

Alberta Advances in Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Enzymes Shine at BIO World Congress

Last updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Related Resources

West Fraser Hinton Lignin Recovery Plant B-roll (April 2016) With support from AI Bio and the federal government, West Fraser has built the first commercial-scale plant in Canada to extract a natural substance in trees called lignin for the development of sustainable new value-added bioproducts.  

Alberta Bioeconomy (July 2015) Produced by BioAlberta and AI Bio: This video highlights innovative Alberta companies working in the industrial biotech sector in such diverse fields as alternative energy, manufactured goods and personal care products - all derived from sustainable sources. 

Biofibre furniture project  (June 2012) by NAIT carpentry students.

Bio-fibre growing medium for plants (Aug 2011) Project partners: TTS Inc, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures and others. 

Introducing Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) to North America (June 2011)  

Steve Price from AI Bio speaking at ACAMP MNT Ag & Forestry Seminar (June 16, 2011)