Bio-economy Facts

bio-economy wheel showing sectors breakdown, shown as text below

The bio-economy is defined as the economic activity associated with the invention, development, production and use of primarily bio-based products, bio-based production processes and/or biotechnology-based intellectual property. It includes the use of resources from agriculture, forestry, fisheries/aquaculture, organic waste and aquatic biomass.

The field is multidisciplinary in that it cuts across the bio-health, bio-energy, bio-agriculture (agribio) and bio-industrial (chemicals and materials) sub-sectors. These four are all rooted in their own foundations of research and development and all have products, processes or intellectual property that are involved in the “green” or sustainable development economy as well, to a greater or lesser extent. The bio-economy sub-sectors share a common objective: the commercialization of resultant bio-products, processes and/or intellectual property.

Subsectors

Bio-health

The bio-health sub-sector encompasses the invention, development, manufacturing, commercialization and use of products that improve therapeutics, diagnostics, prevention and health administration, as well as the development and production of nutraceuticals and applications of medical cannabis. Research and development activities contribute to the development of new products, bio-based technologies and intellectual property related to the production of bio-health products and technologies.

  • Medical cannabis
  • Medical Devices
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Natural-compound bioactives
  • Bio-molecules
  • eHealth/Artificial Intelligence

Bio-energy

The bio-energy sub-sector encompasses the invention, development, production, commercialization and use of renewable fuels through the conversion of organic material into heat or power. Research and development activities contribute to the development of new products, bio-based technologies and intellectual property related to the production of bio-energy.

  • Biodiesel
  • Ethanol
  • Methane
  • Bio-oil
  • Sustainable development

Bio-industrial

The bio-industrial sub-sector encompasses the invention, development, manufacturing, commercialization and use of goods for industrial use, such as bio-chemicals and bio-materials, through the conversion of organic material. Research and development activities contribute to the development of new products, bio-based technologies and intellectual property related to the production of bio-industrial products. Among others, the development and production of biocatalysts are an integral part of this sub-sector.

  • Biocatalyst
  • Biosolvents
  • Bioplastics
  • Biocoatings
  • Bioadhesives

Agri-biotech

The agri-bio sub-sector encompasses the invention, development, production, commercialization and use of new or modified products resulting from the manipulation, modification or alteration of the natural features of plants and crops, animals and/ or other food sources. Research and development activities contribute to the development of new products, bio-based technologies and intellectual property that support improved quality, yield and efficiency in the agricultural sector and food production.

  • Agri-fibre composites
  • Animal Genetics
  • Plant Genetics
  • Livestock Vaccines
  • Animal Nutritional Supplements
  • Functional Foods

For more details and facts about Canada’s bio-economy see BioTalent Canada’s labour market information reports.