As befitting a forestry superpower, Canada had the biggest international presence at World Bioenergy 2012 - an international conference and trade show presenting the latest in bioenergy, pellets and biorefinery developments, held May 28-31 in Jönköping, Sweden. A Speaker’s Corner in the Canada Pavilion organized by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service drew interested crowds, with presentations by Canadian experts in the technologies and innovation associated with biomass conversion as well as investment opportunities. Speakers came from private industry, research organizations, and provincial and regional development organizations.
Catherine Cobden, President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), presented the industry’s Vision 2020 that will chart the new innovative future for Canada’s forest products sector. Site visits to Sweden’s most advanced bioenergy facilities, match-making meetings and a networking reception for over a hundred, hosted by the Canadian Embassy, provided a smörgåsbord of contacts and solutions for Canadian participants.
On May 28 in Stockholm, the Embassy of Canada and the Swedish Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry co-hosted a forest industry seminar that compared the significant transformation going on in the Canadian and Swedish forest sectors. Swedish Minister of Rural Affairs, Eskil Erlandsson, presented “Forest Kingdom Sweden” and spoke about what he learned from his visit to Canada last fall. High-level speakers from Canada included representatives from industry, the financial services sector, the Canadian Forest Service and FP Innovations. Catherine Cobden, President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) presented the conclusions of a major Biopathways project – which shifts the forest industry focus towards bio-energy, bio-chemicals and bio-products. Don Roberts, Chairman of CIBC Markets, provided an investor’s outlook on emerging opportunities in the sector.
Later that day the Swedish Minister of Rural Affairs, Eskil Erlandsson, and other key Swedish and Canadian innovation influencers participated in a workshop on forest sector science and technology and a forest innovation dinner hosted at the Canadian Embassy Stockholm by Ambassador Macartney. Joint areas for innovation collaboration were identified and will be pursued.