Roundtable on the Future of the Bio-Based Economy in Canada

When: Monday, May 11, 2009 - 09:30 - 16:00

Where: National Arts Centre, Ottawa

The bio-based economy is a driver of innovation and key contributor to Canada’s social, economic, and environmental well-being, through the application of biological tools and processes to the production of  food, energy, chemicals, treatments, diagnostics, and materials.  Yet, it faces a number of challenges, including attracting investment, commercializing new technologies, and attracting and retaining qualified workers. Meanwhile, other countries are investing aggressively in biotechnology, pioneering innovative partnerships between industry and academia, and building the fiscal and regulatory environments in which biotechnology can flourish.

On May 11, 2009, the Public Policy Forum convened experts from industry, academia, and governments for a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the opportunities and challenges facing the bio-based economy in Canada. Expert speakers in the morning discussed how various sectors of the bio-economy are managing through the economic crisis; they identified priorities for action to maintain and increase the economic competitiveness of the bio-economy; and they shared ideas on how the bio-based economy could contribute to Canada’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity.  This set the stage for a deliberative session in the afternoon in which participants considered the framework proposed in BIOTECanada’s blueprint document Beyond Moose and Mountains: Building the World’s Leading Bio-Based Economy, as a starting point for discussion.

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