The Biomass North Development Centre is leading the implementation of a Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Strategy.

Developed in partnership by the Union of Ontario Indians and the former Biomass Innovation Centre, the Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Strategy (NO-BS) will leverage our sustainable forestry resources to trigger economic development and job growth, push innovation and entrepreneurship, and develop new domestic markets and international partnerships.

The Strategy was developed with extensive input as a result of numerous community engagement sessions throughout northern Ontario. We engaged municipalities, First Nations, SME's, industry, academia and other organizations to provide feedback on the Strategy's framework and share potential project ideas for the Strategy roll-out.


Click here for an overview of the Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Strategy.

Strategy Scope

The Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Strategy aims to reduce policy and regulatory barriers to sustainable bioenergy projects, define a skills and training roadmap to transition our Ontario workforce into this growing sector, and develop demonstration projects in four strategic pillars – sustainable supply; bioenergy & biofuels; biocomposites & biochemicals; and traditional medicines & foods.

Strategic Pillars

Biomass North and our partners will implement project types within four strategic pillars.

Pillar 1: Sustainable Supply

  • Explore community forest cooperative models
  • Implement regional aggregator models to secure and manage fibre supply
  • Modernization of forest harvesting equipment

Pillar 2: Bioenergy and Biofuels

  • Develop and support export wood pellet mills
  • Implement the "100km heat diet" supply model in northern communities
  • District heating applications in northern communities
  • Combined heat and power applications
  • Commercial/municipal conversions to biomass boilers for heat

Pillar 3: Biocomposites & Biochemicals

  • Phase 1 (short term): production of engineered wood products (CLT, glulam, etc); light manufacturing bioproduct park
  • Phase 2 (long term): industrial biochemical and biocomposite production

Pillar 4: Traditional Medicines and Foods

  • Bring to market First Nation's traditional foods and medicines, as well as knowledge
  • Biomass-heated greenhouses in remote northern communities

Platform Elements

As well as demonstrating biomass applications and concepts, the Strategy will address two platform elements that are critical to the growth of the Ontario bioeconomy.

Skills & Training Platform

  • Develop a skills and training roadmap which leverages current/existing programs and curriculum in Ontario, as well as addresses current gaps
  • Strengthen domestic and international partnerships with academia and industry to support research, knowledge transfer, and education/training

Policy and Regulatory Platform

  • Develop an integrated task force composed of government and industry leaders to modernize the current policy and regulatory framework through a top-down approach


A successfully implemented Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Strategy is anticipated to have widespread measurable benefits throughout northern Ontario, including:

  • Creation of jobs in the forestry, biomass and manufacturing sectors
  • Reducing residential and commercial energy costs in the north
  • Spurring innovation in emerging bioproduct development
  • Developing infrastructure for supply chains and sustainable forestry
  • Reducing carbon emissions
  • Protecting forest health and sustainability
  • Slowing out-migration and spurring in-migration
  • Sharing resource benefits equitably
  • Capturing non-market value of forests and traditional knowledge
  • Enhancing partnerships with First Nations communities
  • Building resilient and healthy communities

Next Steps

The next phase of this process will be the prioritization and development of demonstration projects within the Strategy. Our objective is to scope and prioritize a minimum of eleven project types, develop project-specific working groups to implement these projects, and to work with these groups towards early planning and implementation of the proposed projects.

Contact us to participate in the Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Strategy.

176 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 3 - North Bay, Ontario