Survey Report
Results of the Bioproducts Production and Development Survey 2015

by Yannick Rancourt (Statistics Canada) and Catherine Neumeyer and Ningning Zou (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Release date: December 22, 2017

Highlights

Introduction

The bioproducts sector has unexplored potential in Canada. In the last decade, however, efforts have been made to better measure this activity. One of the major reasons for interest in this activity is that the manufacturing of bioproducts offers processors additional markets for new products and commodities. Canada has more biomass resources per capita than any other country and access to a wealth of biomass feedstock.Note  This paper presents results from the 2015 Bioproducts Production and Development Survey, Statistics Canada’s fourth survey on businesses engaged in this sector. The survey is conducted on a cost-recovery basis by the Centre for Special Business Projects (CSBP) on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Previous iterations of this survey were also conducted for 2003, 2006 and 2009. The objective of the survey is to measure activity in the bioproducts sector.

For the purpose of this survey, bioproducts are defined as “non-conventional” products produced from biomass with the goal of commercialization (see Box 1 definitions below). Thus, all bioproducts produced only for in-house use (e.g., electricity, heat) are ruled out. For example, this definition includes biofuels (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel), bio-gas and bioenergy, organic chemicals (e.g., biopolymers), bio-pesticides, plant-made biologics, non-conventional construction materials and composites, intermediary biochemicals, and biomaterials (if produced in a non-conventional manner), but excludes all food, nutraceuticals, feed (e.g., livestock and pet food), medicines and forestry-based bioproducts produced in a traditional way (e.g., lumber, paper).Note 

The main objective of this descriptive paper is to give to the reader a better idea of the size and scope of bio-economic activity in the Canadian economy and to provide statistical information on the Canadian bioproducts sector. A detailed profile of establishments engaged in the production and/or development of bioproducts in the country is presented.

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Box 1 Definitions

Bioproducts
For the purpose of this survey, bioproducts are products produced from biomass and for commercial purposes.

Include: biofuels (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel), bio-gas and bioenergy, organic chemicals (e.g., biopolymers), bio-pesticides, plant-made biologics, non-conventional construction materials and composites, intermediary biochemicals, and biomaterials (if produced in a non-conventional manner).

Exclude: food, nutraceuticals, feed (e.g., livestock and pet food), medicines, forestry-based bioproducts produced in a traditional way (e.g., lumber, paper).

Biomass
For the purpose of this survey, biomass refers to the following renewable biological materials:

  • biological materials from forestry, agriculture, marine and aquaculture sources
  • by-products from processing (e.g., agricultural, forestry, pulp and paper, food or feed processing)
  • salvaged wood and wood-based products from construction and demolition sites
  • waste biological materials (e.g., solid waste such as yard waste, trees, wood waste, waste cooking oil)
  • micro-biological materials (e.g., algae, bacteria, fungi).

Exclude: microbiological materials that are used only as a catalyst or converter in a production process or in research.

Establishment
The Establishment as a statistical indicator, is defined as the most homogeneous unit of production for which the business maintains accounting records and, from which it is possible to assemble all the data elements required to compile the full structure of the gross value of production (total sales or shipments, and inventories), the cost of materials and services, and labour and capital used in production.

Establishments sizes
For this survey, a small size establishment has less than 50 employees, a medium size establishments has 50 to 149 employees and a large size establishments has 150 or more employees.

Bioproduct-related activities Bioproduct-related activities are any combination of activities related to research and development (R&D), production, and sales or distribution of bioproducts.

Bioproduct co-products
Bioproduct co-products are produced jointly with bioproducts from the same production stream. They are often produced for sale, but additional processing may be required. Distillers’ dry grains and carbon dioxide (CO2) are examples of co-products of ethanol production. Glycerine may be a co-product of biodiesel fuel production.

Biomass improvement activities (or biomass pre-processing)
Biomass improvement activities
are activities such as collecting, aggregating, baling, cleaning, separating, drying, modifying, refining, grading or packaging of post-harvest biomass to prepare the biomass for efficient conversion into bioproducts.

Post-harvest improved biomass Post-harvest improved biomass is a type of biomass that has been collected, aggregated, baled, cleaned, separated, dried, modified, refined or packaged from its raw form at harvest so it can be directly fed into a conversion process for bioproduct production. It can also be referred to as conditioned or pre-processed biomass.

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Survey population

The target population for the survey included all commercial establishments located in Canada that use renewable biomass to develop or produce bioproducts (see definition in Box 1), as well as those that collect, separate and/or refine the biomass inputs used in bioproducts.

The criteria used to define a bioproduct establishment for this survey resulted in a very small population. This is one of the main challenges of the survey. Bioproduct establishments are difficult to identify and find, because bioproducts are not an industry but, rather, activities carried out by establishments. To date, there is no complete database which identifies non-conventional bioproducts and those businesses involved in developing or producing these products. Therefore, a census approach was used to obtain a robust responding population who could self-identify their bioproducts activities, in order to produce reliable estimates. The frame was constructed from three sources:

  1. lists of businesses obtained from federal partners, provincial and territorial bioproduct industry associations, and industry experts
  2. enterprises from the Business Register System that were in-scope during the Survey of Advanced Technology (2014), the Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy (2012), the Environmental Protection Expenditures Survey (2012), and the previous Bioproducts Production and Development Survey (2009)
  3. external sources including association websites.

Only establishments in the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors were retained:

These sources collectively yielded 1,123 potential in-scope establishments. After an initial contact by phone, the number of potential in-scope establishments was reduced to 599 establishments.Note  Subsequently, an in-depth analysis was required to remove all remaining out-of-scope establishments. Following the analysis, 190 bioproduct establishments were determined to be in-scope for this survey. Calculated for the final population, the overall survey response rate was established at 48.2%.

This paper presents the findings from the survey on the bioproducts sector in Canada. The annex includes all survey estimates by region (Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia) and by establishment size based on the number of employees (less than 50, 50 to 149, and 150 or more).

Industry profile

In 2015, an estimated 190 Canadian establishments were involved in the production and/or development of non-conventional bioproducts.Note  Note  Chart 1 shows that, geographically, 52.6% were located in central Canada (59 in Ontario and 41 in Quebec). Small establishments (with less than 50 employees) made up the majority of the distribution (71.1%). Medium-sized establishments (with 50 to 149 employees) represented 13.7% of the distribution, and large establishments (with 150 or more employees) accounted for 15.3%.Note 

Chart 1 Regional distribution of bioproduct establishments

Data table for Chart 1
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Regions (appearing as row headers), Number of establishments (appearing as column headers).
Regions Number of establishments
Atlantic provinces 21
Quebec 41
Ontario 59
Prairies 43
British Columbia 26

Bioproduct establishments were involved in the production and/or development of many types of bioproductsNote  encompassing a wide range of activities.Note  These activities involved the production and/or development of biofuels (58.4%),Note  bioenergy (21.1%), intermediary biochemicals or biomaterials (20.0%), materials and composites (17.4%), organic chemicals (14.2%), and other bioproducts (11.1%). From these estimates, 111 establishments were involved in biofuels, 30 in ethanol, 29 in biodiesel and 24 in gaseous fuels.

Bioproduct establishments profile

Chart 2 shows that, in 2015, there were 61 mature establishments (those in operation for more than 20 years). These accounted for 32.3% of bioproduct establishments. The results show that the majority of establishments (80) were young, having been in operation for 10 years or less. These young establishments made up 42.3% of all bioproduct establishments, while the mid-age groups (11 to 15 years, and 16 to 20 years) made up 25.4%.

Chart 2 Number of years in operation, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 2
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2. The information is grouped by Engaged in bioproduct related activities (appearing as row headers), Number of establishments (appearing as column headers).
Engaged in bioproduct related activities Number of establishments
0 to 5 years 33
6 to 10 years 47
11 to 15 years 22
16 to 20 years 26
21 years or more 61

Similarly (chart 3), a majority of bioproduct establishments (60%) had indicated that their business had been involved in bioproduct activities for 10 years or less. Less than 10% of the total had been involved in bioproduct activities for 11 to 15 years, 11.1% for 16 to 20 years, and 19.5% for more than 20 years. New businesses tend to engage in bioproduct-related activity from the beginning of operation.

Chart 3 Number of years involved in bioproducts, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 3
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3. The information is grouped by Engaged in bioproduct related activities (appearing as row headers), Number of establishments (appearing as column headers).
Engaged in bioproduct related activities Number of establishments
0 to 5 years 49
6 to 10 years 65
11 to 15 years 18
16 to 20 years 21
21 years or more 37

There were various reasons why businesses were engaged in bioproduct activities (table 1). The three main reasons for initially becoming involved in bioproducts were opportunities through education or employment (42.0%), opportunities through business domestic activities (41.0%), and cooperation or collaboration with other establishments or organizations (25.2%).

Table 1
Reasons why establishments initially became involved in bioproducts activity, Canada, 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Reasons why establishments initially became involved in bioproducts activity. The information is grouped by Reasons (appearing as row headers), 2015, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Reasons 2015
percent
1. Exposed to bioproduct-related opportunities through education or employment 42.0
2. Exposed to bioproduct-related opportunities through its domestic activities 41.0
3. Cooperated or collaborated with other businesses or organizations on bioproduct activities 25.2
4. Acquired another business’s bioproduct activities 13.0
5. Exposed to bioproduct-related opportunities through its international activities 10.6
6. Other 9.3
7. Acquired or licensed technology from a domestic business or laboratory 9.1
8. Acquired or licensed technology from a foreign business or laboratory 3.8
9. Merged with another business involved in bioproduct activities 0.0

Business profile

In 2015, sales of bioproducts totaled an estimated $4.3 billion.Note  Of this total, 66.8% were domestic sales and 33.2% exports. Biofuels represented the most significant bioproduct activity, with sales of $2.7 billion (63.6%)Note  . Chart 4 shows that, geographically, 44.4% of all bioproduct sales were made by establishments located in Ontario, 27.6% by establishments located in the Prairies, 25.8% by establishments located in Quebec, and less than 2.2% by establishments located in British Columbia. Sales from other business lines (not bioproducts) accounted for 61.0% of establishments’ total sales in 2015.Note 

Chart 4 Bioproduct sales distribution by region, 2015

Data table for Chart 4
Data table for Chart 4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 4. The information is grouped by Regions (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Regions Percent
Atlantic provinces 0.0
Quebec 25.8
Ontario 44.4
Prairies 27.6
British Columbia 2.2

In 2015, the majority of bioproduct establishments (83.8%) had clients in Canada. Additionally, 45.6% had clients in the United States, 13.6% had clients in the European Union, 8.6% had clients in China, 7.1% had clients in Japan, and 7.1% had clients in other countries (Chart 5).Note 

Chart 5 Canada’s bioproduct markets, 2015

Data table for Chart 5
Data table for Chart 5
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 5. The information is grouped by Destinations (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Destinations Percent
Canada 83.8
United States 45.6
European Union 13.6
China 8.6
Japan 7.1
Other customer locations 7.1

Bioproduct establishments in Canada employed a total of 5,618 peopleNote  (where at least 50% of theirs work was devoted to bioproduct and/or biomass activities).Note  Of this total, 1,879 people were employed by small establishments, 1,661 people were employed by medium-sized establishments, and 2,078 people were employed by large establishments.Note  In total, these employees earned an estimated $355 million in wages and salaries in 2015.Note 

Of this workforce, 46.4% had occupations in production and operations, 18.8% in management, marketing or finance, 15.3% in engineering, 9.2% in R&D, and 8.2% in laboratories as laboratory technicians (Chart 6).

Chart 6 Type of profession in bioproduct and biomass activities, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 6
Data table for Chart 6
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 6. The information is grouped by Type of employees (appearing as row headers), Number of employees (appearing as column headers).
Type of employees Number of employees
All other employees 114
Laboratory technicians 463
Scientific research and development employees
518
Engineers 857
Management, marketing or finance employees 1,057
Production employees or operators 2,609

In 2015, 17.1% of all bioproduct establishments reported unfilled or vacant positions.Note  Establishments cited the main reasons for their unfilled employment positions as the inability to find highly qualified personnel (46.9%) and the unwillingness of qualified individuals to relocate (29.0%).Note 

Contracting or outsourcing services were reported by 34.3% of all bioproduct establishments in 2015.Note  The most common outsourced activities included engineering services (49.1%), R&D (24.6%), and production of goods (23.0%).Note  The top two reasons given for contracting out were to “access outside scientific expertise / knowledge” (52.3%) and for “cost-effectiveness” (48.3%).Note 

Biomass

Forestry biomass was the largest source of biomass produced (table 2), at 12.3 million metric tonnes, of which 8.5 million metric tonnes came from processing residue from pulp-and-paper mills. Agricultural biomass was the second largest source of biomass, with 8.8 million metric tonnes produced, the majority being derived from grains and oilseeds. In 2015, bioproduct establishments incurred biomass costs amounting to $2.3 billion.Note 

Table 2
Quantity of biomass used by bioproduct establishments, 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Quantity of biomass used by bioproduct establishments Quantity of biomass used, calculated using metric tonnes units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Quantity of biomass used
metric tonnes
Agricultural biomass 8 768 015
Grains and oilseeds 8 676 586
Forestry biomass 12 314 424
Mill processing residue 8 532 225
Other products and by-products X
Food processing, slaughter and rendering by-products 623 774

Overall, 42.1% of all establishments used agricultural biomass as their primary source of biomass.Note  About one-quarter (26.3%) of establishments identified forestry as their primary biomass in 2015. Primary biomass was sourced mainly from the region in which the establishment was located.Note  In terms of distance travelled to the source of the biomass (graph 7), 14.7% of establishments used on-site biomass; 19.7% obtained the primary biomass from a distance of less than 50 km; and 65.7% had more than 50 km to travel to their primary biomass source.

Chart 7 Transportation distance of primary biomass by bioproduct establishment in 2015

Data table for Chart 7
Data table for Chart 7
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 7. The information is grouped by Destinations (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Destinations Percent
0 km (on-site)   14.7
Less than 50 km   19.7
50 km to less than 100 km   32.0
100 km to less than 500 km   29.5
500 km or more   4.2

In 2015, almost one-third of bioproduct establishments in Canada were also using some of their own bioproducts internally (e.g., bioenergy for drying products and heating buildings).Note  This ratio varies among regions. The Prairies had the lowest proportion of internal bioproduct consumption, with only 14.0% of establishments using their own bioproducts internally, whereas the Atlantic provinces had the highest ratio, at 61.9%.Note  This ratio can vary, depending on factors such as the type of bioproduct being produced and alternative costs. For example, ethanol might be more profitable to produce for external use, while a cheaper energy source is substituted for internal use.

About one-third (35.3%) of all bioproduct establishments also reported sales of co-productsNote  (e.g., distiller dry grains and CO2 as co-products of ethanol production).Note  The Prairies (46.5%) and British Columbia (46.2%) were the leading regions for co-products sales.

In 2015, total sales from co-products amounted to $441.5 million, which represented 10.3% of total bioproduct sales.Note  Medium-sized establishments accounted for 60.8% of all those sales, while small and large establishments accounted for 31.9% and 7.3% of co-products sales.

Research and development (R&D) and innovation

In 2015, Canadian bioproduct establishments invested $112.1 million in in-house research and development (R&D). Note  Of this amount, $91.2 million (81.3%) was spent on bioproduct and biomass activities. Small establishments invested the most in R&D in 2015, accounting for 59.7% of all R&D expenditures. Medium-sized establishments made 31.2% of all R&D expenditures while large establishments accounted for the remaining 9.0% of such expenditures.Note 

Overall research intensity (measured as expenditures on R&D divided by bioproducts sales) in 2015 was found to be 2.1% when combining bioproduct and biomass activities.Note 

In addition to in-house R&D investments, establishments can expand their innovative capacity through other avenues. For example, they may cooperate or collaborate with other establishments or institutions to expand (or borrow) expertise, knowledge or technical knowhow. They may also outsource specific research activities or acquire (or lease) intellectual property from other sources to advance their innovative objectives. Establishments may also seek external funding from government programs or use incentives to either finance in-house R&D or access funds to outsource R&D.

In 2014 and 2015, the two main reasons why establishments were attempting to raise capital were to conduct R&D or to expand R&D capacity (about one-third of establishments), and to develop proof of concept or a pilot project (26.8% of establishments).Note  Furthermore, R&D programs were the most common type of government (federal, provincial and municipal) programs to which bioproduct establishments applied for (about one-third of establishments).Note  When bioproduct establishments were asked what programs or incentives would be beneficial to their businesses over the next five fiscal years, they identified commercialization programs as the most beneficial followed by R&D programs.Note 

Over 60% of all bioproduct establishments received Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) refunds and/or tax credits over the previous five years, for a total of $100.4 million.Note  Of those, 65.3% were small establishments. In addition, 58 establishments indicated that they had received Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) funding, of those establishments, 81.0% were small establishments.Note 

Intellectual property and collaborations

In 2015, 62 establishments had an existing patent or a pending patent, for a total of 1,822 registered patents. Of these patents, 17.0% were registered in Canada, 20.8% in the United States, 17.0% in Europe and 2.0% in Japan. The remaining 43.3% were registered in other counties.Note  Of the 167 pending patents awaiting approval, 32.3% were filed in Canada, 26.9% in the United States, 22.8% in Europe, 8.4% in Japan and 10.2% elsewhere.

In 2015, 10 bioproduct establishments assigned a bioproduct-related intellectual property licence to a third party and 11 bioproduct establishments acquired at least one intellectual property licence.Note 

Thirty-seven bioproduct establishments owned at least one bioproduct trademark in 2015.Note  A total of 102 bioproduct trademarks were registered in 2015, compared to 89 in 2014.

Roughly one-third of establishments (69) participated in collaborative (or cooperative) arrangements with other businesses in 2015.Note  In total, 218 such arrangements were reported, of which one-quarter were multi-partner arrangements. Small establishments accounted for 66.1% of all bioproduct collaborative arrangements. The most common collaborations were with other businesses. International businesses accounted for 37 of the arrangements, while 48 arrangements were with businesses in CanadaNote  (Chart 8).

Chart 8 Number of bioproduct establishments with collaborations, by partner type, 2013 to 2015

Data table for Chart 8
Data table for Chart 8
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 8. The information is grouped by Type of partners (appearing as row headers), Number of establishments (appearing as column headers).
Type of partners Number of establishments
Other collaborators 4
Academic institutions outside Canada 7
Federal government agencies or labs 13
Provincial government agencies or labs 17
Academic institutions in Canada 35
Businesses outside Canada 37
Businesses in Canada 48

Nationally, the most important reasons given in deciding to collaborate with partners, were to access outside scientific expertise/knowledge (80.4%) and to perform R&D (66.5%).Note  All medium-sized establishments indicated that access to outside scientific expertise/knowledge, access to capital and cost-effectiveness were their main reasons for collaboration.

Challenges

In 2015, the five most cited obstacles (Chart 9) faced by all bioproduct establishments were the difficulty in entering the commercial marketplace, the cost of biomass, the cost and timeliness of regulatory approval, lack of financing and the cost to comply with regulations. However, lack of financing was identified as the “major” challenge faced by many establishments. About 30% of all establishments identified this as a major obstacle, followed by the cost and timeliness of regulatory approval (21.4%), the cost of biomass (16.5%) and the unreliable quantity of biomass (16.4%).Note 

Chart 9 Obstacles faced by bioproduct establishments

Data table for Chart 9
Data table for Chart 9
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 9. The information is grouped by Type of partners (appearing as row headers), Not an obstacle, Minor, Moderate, Major, Minor and major and Moderate and major (appearing as column headers).
Type of partners Not an obstacle Minor Moderate Major Minor and major Moderate and major
Other obstacles 79.4 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 12.1 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 8.5 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Cost of developing environmental indicators 64.3 20.1 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 15.6
Unreliable quantity of biomass 60.7 12.6 10.3 16.4 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Absence of adequate product standard certification 59.6 22 10.6 7.8 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Unreliable quality of biomass 56.2 19.2 15.2 9.3 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Lack of skilled human resources 53 37 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 10
Cost to comply with regulations 46.4 22 16.1 15.6 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Lack of financing 42.8 14.6 12.9 29.8 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Cost and timeliness of regulatory approval 41.9 19.3 17.3 21.4 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Cost of biomass 39.7 16.7 27 16.5 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Difficulty in entering commercial marketplace 39.4 20.7 26 13.9 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act

However, over 50% of establishments indicated that the cost of developing environmental indicators (64.3%), the unreliable quantity of biomass (60.7%), the absence of adequate product standard certification (59.6%), the unreliable quality of biomass (56.2%) and the lack of skilled human resources (53.0%) were not challenges for them.Note 

Chart 10 shows the number of establishments that applied for federal, provincial and municipal government programs. The two most common programs applied for were bioproduct R&D programs (68 establishments applied) and commercialization programs (47 establishments applied).

Chart 10 Types of government programs applied for by bioproduct establishments

Data table for Chart 10
Data table for Chart 10
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 10. The information is grouped by Type of government programs (appearing as row headers), Number of establishments (appearing as column headers).
Type of government programs Number of establishments
Programs for process or product environmental assessment 0
Marketing programs 10
Programs for product performance testing 12
Other government programs 24
Commercialization programs 47
Programs for bioproduct R&D 68

Chart 11 shows the types of programs or incentives that would be beneficial for bioproduct establishments. Commercialization programs were identified as being the most beneficial programs for bioproduct establishments over the next five years. This was followed by programs for bioproduct R&D and marketing programs. Considering that entering the commercial marketplace was reported to be the main challenge, it is no surprise that commercialization programs and incentives were identified as being the most helpful to bioproduct establishments.

Chart 11 Government programs or incentives that would be beneficial to bioproduct establishments for the next five years

Data table for Chart 11
Data table for Chart 11
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 11. The information is grouped by Type of programs (appearing as row headers), Number of establishments (appearing as column headers).
Type of programs Number of establishments
Other government programs 18
Programs for technology or knowledge transfer 25
Programs for new standards development 27
Programs for product performance testing 44
Programs for process or product environmental assessment 47
Marketing programs 56
Programs for bioproduct R&D 64
Commercialization programs 82

Conclusion

The 2015 Bioproducts Production and Development Survey focused on bioproduct establishments that produced and developed bioproducts from biomass in a non-conventional way with the aim of selling these bioproducts. This survey reflects results relating to those “specific” bioproducts only and omits a great range of conventional bioproducts.

One hundred ninety (190) bioproduct establishments were found to be in-scope for the survey. Such establishments were diversified and spread across Canada. A large spectrum of bioproduct activities were found, including biofuels, bioenergy, organic chemicals, materials and composites. Intermediary products (i.e., biochemicals and biomaterials) were also reported.

In 2015, bioproduct establishments included a sizable number of young (in operation for 10 years or less) establishments. Moreover, many new entrants into bioproduct production and development were of mature age (in operation for 21+ years). Although the primary source of bioproduct sales in 2015 was biofuels, sales also came from a wide range of bioproduct categories.

Canada’s bioproducts were sold in the domestic market, the United States, Europe and Asia. A greater proportion of sales were in the domestic market; the United States was the main export market.

The research intensity (R&D divided by establishments’ bioproducts sales) of in-house research into bioproducts (including biomass) by bioproduct establishments was 2.1%.

Establishments expanded their research and innovative capacity through external avenues, such as collaborative or cooperative arrangements with other partners, using research incentive programs (e.g., SE&RD and IRAP). In 2015, many establishments had collaborative arrangements. Most of them were with other establishments and with academic institutions, both in Canada and other countries. Those collaborations had the main goal of accessing outside scientific expertise and knowledge, along with undertaking R&D.

The major critical challenge identified in 2015 by bioproduct establishments was lack of financing and the main reason behind seeking additional financing was undertaking R&D and developing proof of concept (or for a pilot project).

Statistics Canada’s 2015 Bioproducts Production and Development Survey attempted to survey all establishments in Canada that used biomass feedstock resources in innovative or novel ways for commercial purposes. The paper’s main objective was to provide an overview of the Canadian bioproducts sector, including the size and scope of activities conducted by bioproduct establishments. The survey was designed to present data on the Canadian bioproducts sector by region and establishment size.

Comparing to previous surveys

A similar survey was also conducted by Statistics Canada for reference years 2003, 2006 and 2009. Given the different survey designs, each iteration needs to be considered separately and not be treated as part of a time-series. The main objective of these surveys is to measure the bioproducts sector in Canada for a specific reference period.

The extent of any attempt to compare survey iterations requires consideration of two aspects:

As bioproducts in Canada continue to be an evolving and emerging concern, identifying the target population undertaking bioproduct-related activities is challenging. Specific questions relating to the types of bioproducts and biomass used, in order for establishments to self-identify as belonging to the population, reduced the number of in-scope units. The identification of the target population and the list of establishments differed for each iteration of the bioproducts survey. The fact that the survey uses a census approach does not guarantee a census population.

Changes in questionnaire content included modifications to the questionnaire design and modifications to reflect the realities of the market. Furthermore, questions were removed, revised or incorporated according to lessons learned from previous survey iterations and their relevance at the time of the survey.

The development of bioproducts for novel uses of biomass continues to evolve, and such definitions are continually evolving. As these definitions are adjusted, the survey must also adapt to recent bioproduct developments. A strict definition format would make it challenging to keep each survey iteration relevant as well as comparable.

Annex tables

Table A.1 Profile of bioproduct establishments, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.2.1 Quantity of biomass used by bioproduct establishments, by biomass type and region, 2015

Table A.2.2 Quantity of biomass used by bioproduct establishments, by biomass type and establishment size, 2015

Table A.3.1 Number of bioproduct establishments involved in bioproduct-related activities, by product type and region, 2015

Table A.3.2 Number of bioproduct establishments involved in bioproduct-related activities, by product type and establishment size, 2015

Table A.4 Number of bioproduct establishments involved in other bioproduct-related activities, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.5 Number of bioproduct establishments, by number of years in operation in Canada, region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.6.1 Number of bioproduct establishments originating from an establishment spin-off, by type of organization and region, 2015

Table A.6.2 Number of bioproduct establishments originating from an establishment spin-off, by type of organization and establishment size, 2015

Table A.7.1 Number of bioproduct establishments by type of establishment legal entity and region, 2015

Table A.7.2 Number of bioproduct establishments by type of establishment legal entity and establishment size, 2015

Table A.8.1 Number of bioproduct establishments that are subsidiaries, by location of their ultimate parent and region, 2015

Table A.8.2 Number of bioproduct establishments that are subsidiaries, by location of their ultimate parent and establishment size, 2015

Table A.9 Number of bioproduct establishments located in bio-based clusters, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.10.1 Revenue breakdown of bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.10.2 Revenue breakdown of bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.11.1 Revenues of bioproduct establishments, by product type and region, 2015

Table A.11.2 Revenues of bioproduct establishments, by product type and establishment size, 2015

Table A.12.1 Expense breakdown of bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.12.2 Expense breakdown of bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.13.1 Wages and salaries paid for main activities by bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.13.2 Wages and salaries paid for main activities by bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.14 Percentage of bioproduct establishments with in-house research and experimental development (R&D) expenditures in Canada in 2015, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.15.1 Total in-house research and development (R&D) expenditures by bioproducts establishments in Canada, by region, 2014 and 2015

Table A.15.2 Total in-house research and development (R&D) expenditures by bioproducts establishments in Canada, by establishment size, 2014 and 2015

Table A.16.1 In-house research and development (R&D) expenditures related to bioproducts in Canada, by region, 2014 and 2015

Table A.16.2 In-house research and development (R&D) expenditures related to bioproducts in Canada, by establishment size, 2014 and 2015

Table A.17 Number of bioproduct establishments, by years engaged in bioproduct-related activities in Canada, region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.18.1 How establishments initially became involved in bioproducts, by region, 2015

Table A.18.2 How establishments initially became involved in bioproducts, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.19 Number of bioproduct establishments producing bioproducts for internal use, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.20.1 Number of bioproduct establishments producing co-products for sale, by product type and region, 2015

Table A.20.2 Number of bioproduct establishments producing co-products for sale, by product type and establishment size, 2015

Table A.21 Total sales of co-products by bioproduct establishments, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.22 Geographical location of Canadian buyers of bioproducts, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.23.1 Factors motivating establishments to develop or produce bioproducts, by region, 2015

Table A.23.2 Factors motivating establishments to develop or produce bioproducts, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.24.1 Obstacles to bioproduct establishments' development or production of bioproducts, by region, 2015

Table A.24.2 Obstacles to bioproduct establishments' development or production of bioproducts, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.25.1 Biomass improvement activities performed by bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.25.2 Biomass improvement activities performed by bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.26 How bioproduct establishments source biomass, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.27.1 Types of biomass suppliers used by bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.27.2 Types of biomass suppliers used by bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.28.1 Types of biomass reported as primary biomass, by number of establishments, share of total biomass used and region, 2015

Table A.28.2 Types of biomass reported as primary biomass, by number of establishments, share of total biomass used and establishment size, 2015

Table A.29.1 Percentage of primary biomass sourced, by geographical location and region, 2015

Table A.29.2 Percentage of primary biomass sourced, by geographical location and establishment size, 2015

Table A.30 Distance primary biomass was transported, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.31.1 Number and types of employees who worked at least 50% of the time in bioproduct activities, by region, 2015

Table A.31.2 Number and types of employees who worked at least 50% of the time in bioproduct activities, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.32 Proportion of bioproduct establishments with unfilled full- or part-time positions related to bioproducts, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.33.1 Obstacles to bioproduct establishments filling bioproduct-related job vacancies, by region, 2015

Table A.33.2 Obstacles to bioproduct establishments filling bioproduct-related job vacancies, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.34.1 Locations where bioproduct establishments have considered relocating or opening a new bioproduct facility, by region, 2015

Table A.34.2 Locations where bioproduct establishments have considered relocating or opening a new bioproduct facility , by establishment size, 2015

Table A.35.1 Important factors to bioproduct establishments when considering where to relocate or open a new bioproduct facility, by region, 2015

Table A.35.2 Important factors to bioproduct establishments when considering where to relocate or open a new bioproduct facility, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.36 Proportion of bioproduct establishments that contracted out bioproduct-related activities, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.37.1 Number of bioproduct-related activities contracted out by bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.37.2 Number of bioproduct-related activities contracted out by bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.38.1 Reasons bioproduct establishments contracted out bioproduct-related activities, by level of importance and region, 2015

Table A.38.2 Reasons bioproduct establishments contracted out bioproduct-related activities, by level of importance and establishment size, 2015

Table A.39 Number of bioproduct establishments that participated in bioproduct-related co-operative or collaborative arrangements, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.40.1 Number of bioproduct establishments collaborated with during the previous three years, by partnership type and region, 2013-2015

Table A.40.2 Number of bioproduct establishments collaborated with during the previous three years, by partnership type and establishment size, 2013-2015

Table A.41.1 Reasons bioproduct establishments decided to co-operate or collaborate with partners, by level of importance and region, 2015

Table A.41.2 Reasons bioproduct establishments decided to co-operate or collaborate with partners, by level of importance and establishment size, 2015

Table A.42 Number of bioproduct establishments that indicated their customers required sustainably sourced biomass inputs, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.43 Number of bioproduct establishments that took steps to verify whether their biomass inputs were sustainably produced, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.44 Number and types of methods used by bioproducts establishments to verify whether their biomass inputs were sustainably produced, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.45 Number of bioproduct establishments that completed a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) for their bioproducts, by region and establishment size, 2010-2015

Table A.46.1 Factors preventing bioproduct establishments from completing a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) for their bioproducts, by region, 2015

Table A.46.2 Factors preventing bioproduct establishments from completing a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) for their bioproducts, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.47 Number of certified bioproducts, by type of certification, region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.48 Proportion of bioproduct establishments planning to use Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) results to market and/or promote their bioproducts, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.49.1 Proportion of bioproduct establishments planning to complete a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) for any of their bioproducts in fiscal years 2016, 2017 or 2018, by region, 2015

Table A.49.2 Proportion of bioproduct establishments planning to complete a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) for any of their bioproducts in fiscal years 2016, 2017 or 2018, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.50.1 Number of bioproduct-related patents and pending patents, by geographical area and region, 2015

Table A.50.2 Number of bioproduct-related patents and pending patents, by geographical area and establishment size, 2015

Table A.51.1 Number of unique bioproduct patent applications submitted and number of such applications granted, by year and region, 2014 and 2015

Table A.51.2 Number of unique bioproduct patent applications submitted and number of such applications granted, by year and establishment size, 2014 and 2015

Table A.52.1 Number of bioproduct-related trademarks, by year and region, 2014 and 2015

Table A.52.2 Number of bioproduct-related trademarks, by year and establishment size, 2014 and 2015

Table A.53 Number of bioproduct establishments that assigned or licensed bioproduct-related intellectual property (IP) rights to another establishment or that acquired bioproduct-related IP rights from another establishment, by region and establishment size, 2015

Table A.54.1 Reasons for attempting to raise capital in 2014 and/or 2015, by region, 2014 and 2015

Table A.54.2 Reasons for attempting to raise capital in 2014 and/or 2015, by establishment size, 2014 and 2015

Table A.55.1 Funds requested and received for bioproduct-related activities, by year and region, 2014 and 2015

Table A.55.2 Funds requested and received for bioproduct-related activities, by year and establishment size, 2014 and 2015

Table A.56.1 Total funds raised for bioproduct-related activities, by source and region, 2015

Table A.56.2 Total funds raised for bioproduct-related activities, by source and establishment size, 2015

Table A.57 Number of bioproduct establishments that applied for refunds or tax credits for their bioproduct-related research and development (R&D) expenditures under the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program, in any of the past five fiscal years, by region and establishment size, 2010-2015

Table A.58 Number of bioproduct establishments that received funding from the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) during the past five years, by region and establishment size, 2010-2015

Table A.59 Number of establishments that applied, in the past five fiscal years, for any other government (federal, provincial or municipal) programs related or applicable to bioproducts, by region and establishment size, 2010-2015

Table A.60.1 Types of government programs (federal, provincial or municipal) for which bioproduct establishments have applied, by region, 2015

Table A.60.2 Types of government programs (federal, provincial or municipal) for which bioproduct establishments have applied, by establishment size, 2015

Table A.61.1 Types of programs or incentives that would be beneficial to the bioproduct-related activities of bioproduct establishments, by region, 2015

Table A.61.2 Types of programs or incentives that would be beneficial to the bioproduct-related activities of bioproduct establishments, by establishment size, 2015

References

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service website. http://www.international.gc.ca/investors-investisseurs/sector-secteurs/bioproduct-bioproduit.aspx?lang=eng.

Notes

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