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Archived - Governments Boost Competitiveness in the Bioproducts Sector

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July 16, 2014 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn, today announced a combined federal-provincial investment of over $1.9 million to the Composites Innovation Centre to support FibreCITY, North America's first agriculture fibre grading centre of excellence program.

The Composites Innovation Centre will receive up to $715,000, provided under Agriculture Canada's Growing Forward 2 (GF2) AgriInnovation Program, to install a unique suite of equipment specifically dedicated to the evaluation of fibre crops. In addition they will develop the world's first informatics system for agricultural fibre grading and establish standards for fibre and product quality.

The Composites Innovation Centre will also receive an additional investment of up to $1.27 million, through the GF2 cost-shared Growing Innovation Program, to establish a quality testing site for natural fibres used in biomaterial applications and product development projects.

Quick facts

  • Founded in 2003, the Composites Innovation Centre's mandate is to support and stimulate economic growth through innovative research, development and industrial application of composite materials technology.
  • The development of bio-materials is one of the priorities within the bioproducts industry.
  • This investment builds on research funding previously received through Agriculture Canada's AgriInnovation Program.
  • The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under the GF2 policy framework that supports pre-commercialization research, development, and knowledge transfer in agriculture.
  • In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million under GF2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.


"The Composites Innovation Centre has been a national leader in the development of biofibres for almost a decade. Our Government is proud to support this state of the art facility as they continue to find innovative uses for our farmers' top-quality products."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"Biofibres are a growing and very exciting part of Manitoba's agricultural industry. Strategic investments in the Composites Innovation Centre will ensure we will continue to be a leader in the years ahead, creating opportunities for growers, processors, innovators and their customers. By working together, Manitoba will achieve its goal of a $2 billion bioproducts sector by 2020."

- Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn

"One of our main objectives is to conduct technology development and commercialization activities that link agricultural producers to consumers, generating an increased level of income and opportunities at the farm gate and in rural communities. We are appreciative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Province of Manitoba in further supporting our efforts to overcome a major barrier for the industrial adoption of natural fibres by developing methods and standards that will be used to guarantee their quality."

- Sean McKay, President and CEO, Composites Innovation Centre

Additional links


Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

Caedmon Malowany
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Ron Kostyshyn

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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