A Future Forest Bioeconomy: TWIG monthly

Patrick Christie

Have you heard the terms ‘bio-economy,’ ‘bio-products,’ or perhaps’ nano-fibrillated cellulose’? The future of forestry is about diversification and innovation that uses fiber from alternative sources and second and third growth trees. Wood as a consumable material is just a small part of the tree as only a portion of the fibre makes its way into other wood composites, pulp and paper, projects, and products. With an abundance of “less valuable” wood in BC, we have to get creative on how to convert lower-value material into high-value, high-performing, or high-aesthetic products. Adding value comes through how you process and treat the input material and transform it into something that customers are willing to pay for, and that benefits the application they have in mind. A forest bio-economy is the future and the subject of the next TWIG monthly event.

This next event will focus on what the bio-economy is and how it relates to some of the issues we are facing in our forests today regarding fires, old-growth and undesirable standing fiber. The bio-economy is relatively new in BC, so there is lots of space for it to be defined and explored. The Bachelor of Science in forest bio-economy Sciences and Technology (BEST) at UBC is a new program designed to support this emerging side of the industry. If you have ever had questions or curiosities about science and technology, or the applications behind Bioproducts, this would be a great event to join.

Gurminder Minhas has been moving his way through the industry for 20+ years, working for a range of companies in an R+D-based role, and is a strong business leader in the space of the bio-economy. His work and drive for innovation have opened up new partnerships and spawned new companies and products, both locally in BC and globally. In 2014 he helped create and launch Performance BioFilaments, a joint venture between two large Canadian forest product companies. When talking about the future of forestry, the work Gurminder is up to with Performance BioFilaments contributes to it. Innovations in forestry could have applications in other industries that previously would not consider the use of forest-based materials, and that’s what’s exciting when thinking about the future of forestry as a bio-economy. 

We are grateful to host a space where you can get more insight into the ‘Why’ and the ‘How’ behind some of BC’s most exciting wood-based startups. Through our TWIG Monthly events, we aim to highlight different pathways and steps in which product development has taken place and the factors that have contributed to these ideas becoming a reality.

The event will take place on October 19th from 7:00 to 9:00 PST on Zoom

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