April 1st, 2023
The BPI’s third year was in full swing as we forward our mission to unlocking the potential of nature-based, regenerative materials and create solutions toward a thriving society and a healthier planet. At BPI, we look together to influence inclusive and sustainable growth, and build resilient solutions for the future while fostering innovation. BPI contributes to sustainable communities and provides actions to combat climate change. Canada’s immense bioresources are key in these endeavours and our industry partners work with us to advance bioinnovations. BPI launched the new Accelerating Technology Readiness Program (January 2023) to support the development of technologies along the pathway towards commercialization. The program leverages a combination of the Innovation UBC team (UILO + Innovation + e@UBC + Knowledge Exchange), external PacifiCan-funded consultants and the APSC Master of Engineering Leadership Sustainable Process Engineering.
We have continued to expand our partnerships and hosted faculty on sabbatical leaves (M. Tam/U. Waterloo, P. Stuart/Polytechnique Montréal, M Kleiman/Volcani Center, I. Burgert/ETH, J. Guo/Sichuan), along with visiting graduate students from about 10 countries. The Boreal Alliance, a transnational collaboration of 8 leading research organizations, of which BPI is a founding member, is a program in full growth.
Research funding received by BPI members during the year totaled over $18.4M to develop bioproducts, supporting the transformation of the forest industry to advance the bioeconomy and reduce the province’s carbon footprint. Twenty-nine BPI PIs were named among the top 2% or 1% of the most-cited scientists in their respective subfields and BPI scientific outputs put the institute among the top leaders globally in the area. Faculty and students award winners were quite numerous and have been recognized in our news channel (https://bpi.ubc.ca/news) .
BPI hosted two conferences: The 2nd Sustainable Materials Research Summit (August 7-9th) welcoming 151 delegates representing 57 organizations from 15 countries and the 6th LignoBiotech Symposium (Aug 9-12th), involving 150 delegates representing 62 organizations from 17 countries. BPI also hosted a Research Day with 200 guests from UBC, industry and government partners from 35 organizations. The technical program included three keynote presentations by G. Oliveira (BC Ministry of Forests), B. Adams (Mercer International), and G. Minhas (Performance BioFilaments) who spoke to the market trends and shared insights on the future bio-economy. BPI hosted at least one seminar per month (https://bpi.ubc.ca/events) and our media visibility continues to showcase UBC talent in many corners of the world.
The EDII Committee held its first meeting and has created opportunities to participate in EDI events, including the 2022 Orange Shirt Day Intergenerational March hosted by APSC. The BPI Community Day (March 30, 2023) featured an interactive "Inclusive Communication" workshop to foster a respectful work environment.
These few highlighted accomplishments and activities exemplify the energy and enthusiasm of BPI researchers who advance meaningful efforts to tackle the challenges and opportunities of today’s society.
Canada Excellence Research Chair in Bioproducts
Scientific Director, BioProducts Institute