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Innovation investment diversifies economy and creates jobs

An investment in bioindustrial innovation is resulting in new products, new jobs and potential for more exports.

The Government of Alberta, largely through Alberta Innovates’ bioindustrial innovation program, has supported Ceapro, an innovative Alberta company, to develop its products and commercialize an advanced oat-oil extraction process. As a result, Ceapro is opening a new, larger production facility to supply its customers, such as well-known personal-care product brand, Aveeno – while at the same time doubling its workforce creating 30 new high quality jobs and helping diversify Alberta’s economy.

“This is exactly the type of economic diversification we want for our province: Alberta farmers providing an Alberta product to an Alberta enterprise, supported by Alberta research and innovation, to process oats and possibly other crops using innovative methods and technology developed right here in Alberta. Many of these products will then be sold and used around the world – helping grow and diversify Alberta’s economy, while creating new jobs.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

“We are very pleased with our decision to locate in Alberta, and to establish our clean-technology bioprocessing centre here. This was based on several factors, including proximity to renewable feedstock, the highly qualified personnel here, and the excellent collaboration that we have had with government, the provincial innovation system and the University of Alberta. We are happy to be able to create jobs in this province and a market for oats grown by Alberta agricultural producers. We export 100 per cent of our bioproducts.” 

Gilles Gagnon, President and CEO, Ceapro

“Ceapro’s expansion is an excellent example of the potential for bioindustrial innovation to add value to Alberta’s renewable resources, promote clean technology and contribute to the diversification of the provincial economy. AIberta Innovates Bio Solutions believes Ceapro’s proprietary PGX technology (pressurized gas-expanded drying technology) is going to be a game-changer. PGX is capable of processing a wide range of bio-based feedstocks, and so it also has the potential to generate many new types of bioproducts produced in Alberta.”

Steve Price, President and COO of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

Alberta’s agriculture industry can benefit as the oat variety Ceapro purchases to develop some of the products it sells can be grown in Alberta. In addition, the products Ceapro produces contribute to a lower carbon footprint as the natural extracts they develop could replace some personal-care ingredients derived from more carbon-intensive sources.

The $2.4 million support from the Government of Alberta and Alberta Innovates helped Ceapro develop its products, including technology that has potential industrial applications. This technology, invented at the University of Alberta, was licensed for commercialization by Ceapro.

The company’s success, the availability of quality feedstocks in combination with advanced extraction technologies could help build a bioprocessing hub in Alberta.


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