Manitoba bio-materials facility receives $3M boost from province

Manitoba is investing nearly $3 million to further develop the agricultural bio-economy in the province.

The province announced funding June 4 for research and development at the Composites Innovation Centre, a Winnipeg facility that studies bio-materials made from agricultural crops.

The centre has developed bio-components made with flax or hemp fibres for the aerospace, agricultural and transportation sectors. Projects include an engine hood for a swather, the front end of an electric car and bumpers, hood and fan intake components for a Versatile tractor.

“This new investment in CIC will support continued innovation in advanced composites, which is critical to good Manitoba jobs, particularly in the aerospace and vehicle manufacturing sectors,” said Manitoba jobs and economy minister Theresa Oswald. “It will also attract new business opportunities and leverage significant private investment in Manitoba.”

Premier Greg Selinger said Manitoba has an opportunity to be a leader in the bio-materials industry.

In France last week, leading a delegation of business and cultural groups from Manitoba, Selinger said the Manitoba bio-business is expanding into the European market.

Erosion Control Blanket, an Interlake company that makes blankets and mats from straw to protect grass seed and topsoil, announced a deal to manufacture some of its products at a plant in Normandy, France.

“In the next several years, we are expecting $2 million sales of this green biomaterials,” said Mark Myrowich, owner of Erosion Control Blanket.  “There is tremendous opportunity and potential in this field.  We anticipate building a new matting facility in Manitoba as sales continue to grow.”

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