Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
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Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
Forum 2014

Biological Solutions Forum "Building the Business Case"

October 1-2, 2014
The Westin Edmonton Hotel

(download agenda)

(download program)

(view forum photos, poster session photos, Enerkem tour photos)

Hosted by the Biological GHG Management Program, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions in collaboration with the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation.

The opportunities for using biological systems to reduce net GHG emissions in Alberta, while generating useful products and services, appear to be plentiful. But identifying those with true market potential and environmental benefit is much more challenging.

Companies from within Alberta and around the world will share how they have successfully brought together the science and technology, engineering and finance to build the case for environmentally sustainable businesses.


7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Registration open

7:30 am - 8:30 am

Buffet Breakfast

8:30 am - 10:00 am

Plenary Session
Welcoming remarks:
Kirk Andries, Managing Director, CCEMC
Art Froehlich, Chairman of the Board, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

Plenary Speaker:
Larry MacDonald, CFO Nova (ret'd) and Enerkem Board Member
"Building an industry: the pillars of investment"

10:00 am - 10:30 am

Networking Break

10:30 - 12:00 pm

Concurrent Session #1
(CHANCELLOR 2nd floor)
Emerging Innovations

Carlo Montemagno, UofA
Looking at Nature and Thinking Small: A new solution to the big carbon emissions problem

Mike Kennedy, Green Analytics
Collaborative Product Development-BioFoam

Moderated Q&A

Concurrent Session #2
(LEDUC 2nd floor)
Remediation Technologies
CHAIR: Roman Szumski NRC

Brett Purdy, AIEES
Restoring ecological function to disturbed landscapes in Alberta-multiple challenges addressed by reclamation and remediation science

Allison Rutter, Queen's U
(co-authors Barbara Zeeb, Darko Matovic) Sustainable remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons using phytotechnologies

Moderated Q&A

Concurrent Session #3
(TURNER VALLEY 2nd floor)
Mobilizing Forest Residues
CHAIR: Eric Kelusky Nova (Ret'd)

Amit Kumar, UofA
Development of a Modeling Framework for Assessment of GHG Mitigation Options in the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors

Jim Oyler,Genifuel Corp. (co-author Andy Schmidt, PNNL)
Hydrothermal Processing of Woody Feedstocks for Hydrocarbon Fuels

Moderated Q&A

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Buffet Lunch

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Session #1
(CHANCELLOR 2nd floor)

Tonia Anderson, Silvacom, Pre-feasibility scan of potential biomass supply
Jana Tolmie-Thompson, Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association
Jeff Bell, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Alberta Biomass Inventory: a case study

Jude Capper, Livestock Sustainability Consultancy
How do we feed the world in 2050… while still eating meat?

Jamie Larsen,AAFC (co-author Ben Ellert, AAFC)
Steps Towards Creating a Paradigm Shift in Production Agriculture to Address Greenhouse Gases Emissions and Soil Health Through the Development of Perennial Cereals

Moderated Q&A

Concurrent Session #2
(LEDUC 2nd floor)

Gordon Chua, UofC
Development of an Algal-based
Strategy to Bioremediate Oil Sands Processed-Affected Water

Gerrit Voordouw, UofC
The Hydrocarbon Metagenomics Project: managing microbes that decrease emissions, cause souring and corrosion and improve production

Carlo Montemagno, UofA
Nano-biotechnology a New Tool for Changing the Landscape of Environmental Remediation

Moderated Q&A

Concurrent Session #3
(TURNER VALLEY 2nd floor)

Phil Comeau, UofA
Ecological Constraints on Bioenergy Harvesting in the Boreal Forest of Alberta

Christine Schuh, le-ef Consulting
Where do the GHG emission reductions come from? An analysis of two conversion technologies

Geoff Whitfield, DuPont Canada (Ret'd)
The water/bioenergy nexus

Moderated Q&A

3:00 pm- 3:30 pm

Networking Break

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Concurrent Session #1
(CHANCELLOR 2nd floor)

David Layzell, UofC
An energy systems perspective on Agriculture in Canada

Alastair Handley, Carbon Credit Solutions (co-author Ed Alfke)
From brainwave to business: choosing the right funding options

Moderated Q&A

Concurrent Session #2
(LEDUC 2nd floor)

Keith Driver, Prasino Group
Biochar: A case study in carbon offsets for biological GHG projects

Steve Price, AI Bio
Pathways to Products - Bioproducts /biorefineries in Alberta

Moderated Q&A

Concurrent Session #3
(TURNER VALLEY 2nd floor)

Geoff Whitfield, DuPont Canada (ret'd)
Building the Business Case

Perry Toms, Steeper Energy
Tomorrow's Commercial Conversion of Forestry Slash and Mill Wastes into Bio-Fuel Oil via Hydrofaction™

Moderated Q&A

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Student Poster Session and Funded Projects Display
Forum Reception

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Buffet Dinner with Guest Speaker:
Michael Raynor, Director Corporate Strategy, Innovation and Growth, Deloitte
First, embrace all the rules…then break them: Pathways to successful innovation


7:30 am - 9:00 am


Buffet Breakfast; Student Poster Session and Funded Projects Display Open

9:00 am - 10:15 am


Plenary Session
Welcome remarks

Armchair interview: Getting your idea to market
Duncan Cross,Renmatix
Nancy McClure,Town ofDrayton Valley
Elizabeth Huculak,Sustainability Resources Ltd.

Moderated Q&A

10:15 am - 10:45 am


Networking Break

10:45 am - 12:00 pm


Plenary Session
Announcement of student poster winners
Making the business case - summary analysis,Susan Wood-Bohm,Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions
Closing Remarks,Art Froehlich, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Grab-and- Go Lunch

1:00 - 4:30 pm
Workshops on 2nd floor


Concurrent Workshop #1
Offsite tour of Enerkem
Bus departs Westin at 12:30pm and returns at 4:00pm


Concurrent Workshop #2
Ecomimicry as a tool for remediation
Scientific Lead: Gordon Chua, U of C

Concurrent Workshop #3
Enabling feedstock supply
Scientific Lead: Amit Kumar, U of A


Announcements (September 2014)

Michael Raynor Announced as Dinner Speaker
Canadian Michael Raynor is a Director at Deloitte Services LLP and the Innovation Theme Leader in the firm's Eminence function. Raynor is also an advisor to senior executives in many of the world's leading corporations across a wide range of industries. His client projects and research focus on questions of strategy and innovation. Read more.

Concurrent Theme Sessions Announced
We are excited to announce our concurrent themes for this year.

1. Emerging technologies: Innovative technologies with powerful environmental benefits, as well as emerging
policy drivers and new business financing options will be explored in this session - come expecting to have
your assumptions challenged!

2. Remediation technologies: Reducing GHGs can be combined with other environmental benefits and the
improvement of land, water and air degraded by industrial activities. In this session, new tools for
environmental remediation will be explored.

3. Mobilizing forest residues: Efficient use of forest residues has been hampered by supply chain logistics
and financial viability. In this session, a case study approach will be used to consider the science,
technology, ecological and GHG considerations, as well as the business case for hydrothermal conversion
to energy-relevant commodities.

Student Poster Session

Not only was the Forum an excellent opportunity for students to share their research with industry and government leaders, but it was also opportunity to compete for prizes for the top three posters. See the letter of invitation from Dr. Susan Wood-Bohm, Executive Director of the Biological GHG Management Program at AI Bio.

Students whose poster was accepted for display at the Forum, received further instructions here.

First Place Winner of $500- Mekonnen Giweta, University of Alberta, Poster Title "Coordinated nitrogen and sulfur management in sulfur-deficient soils to reduce soil nitrous oxide fluxes and increase soil carbon sequestration"
Second Place Winner of $200- Madhumita Patel, University of Alberta, Poster Title "Techno-economic and life cycle assessment of renewable diesel production from lignocellulosic biomass in Western Canada"
Third Place Winner of $100- Hasti Farokhzadeh, University of Calgary, Poster Title "A Novel Design of an Actively-Aerated Biofilter to Enhance Biological Treatment of Methane Emissions"
Farokhzadeh poster

Industry, finance, government and academia attended

The forum 2014 attracted more than 140 attendees from industry, finance, government and academia. To receive an invitation, attendees contacted event coordinator, Rosemary Malowany, at




Last updated: Thursday, February 11, 2016