The Canadian Triticale Biorefinery Initiative (CTBI) was created in 2006, through the support of Provincial and Federal funders and research organizations including Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), Agriculture and Agrifood Canada (AAFC), Alberta Agriculture Research Institute (AARI), Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF), and the Alberta Research Council (ARC). The most recent funding received was a $15.5 million contribution from the Government of Canada through its Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP) to support the CTBI Network in achieving its goals.
The two annual CTBI network meetings were held at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Summerland BC from June 17-19, 2009 and Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, Edmonton, AB from April 20-22, 2010. There were over 75 researchers, business development and industry advisors present over the 2 1/2 days for each of these meetings. The highlight of the annual meeting was the workshop style, poster sessions and interactive discussions that took place. More than fifty posters were presented linking the different research aspects together to build a picture of the current body of knowledge available to support the development of a successfull triticale-based chemical, material and energy biorefinery industry during these meetings. Further information on the presentations noted above, or to meet with a CTBI representative to discuss research, business or guest speaker opportunities, please contact Richard Gibson at www.ctbi.ca.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development welcomed two new staff members, Nathan Eshpeter, P.Eng., and Olivia Sieniewicz, E.I.T., to their Technology & Innovation Branch. Nathan is a research engineer in the area of On-Farm Renewable Energies and Carbon Footprint analysis, and comes to us with considerable experience in the farm machinery production industry. He works out of Edmonton. Olivia is a research engineer- in-training working in the area of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on farms, with one project demonstrating solar PV technology to farm producers, and a second project testing energy efficiency measures in Irrigation systems. She works out of the Lethbridge location.
Alberta Biomaterials Development Center organized mini-conferences this year. Close to 100 people attended the “Green from the Ground Up” Biomaterials Mini-Conference Series held January and February 2010 in Edmonton and Calgary. Participants came to discover how companies and communities can use biomass to green their business. The series was organized by Bio-Industrial Development Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development with the support of Growing Forward, and included the following three separate full-day events 1) “Making Biomass Matter, 2) “Green Building Beyond Energy Efficiency and 3) “Green your Business; Just Add Biomass. Participants for the mini-conference series were from diverse backgrounds and fields including marketing, architecture, engineering, environmentalism, urban design, plant biology, business, international trade, farming and more. The goal was to bring a “community of industry, government and non-profit groups together” who want to build a strong biomaterials sector within Alberta. The series provided a venue for attendees to network and get connected with the right people and ideas to improve and increase their business. It was good to bring a broad range of people together to gain and exchange knowledge. There is a strong desire for the momentum started during this series to continue fostering growth in Alberta’s biomaterial sector.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) and community partners organized a Renewable Energy Conference in March, 2010. The conference was called ‘Energy Options Behind the Farm Gate 2010’. It was organized in Taber, Alberta. This conference generated a lot of interest in the area of energy.