News

The Province is investing in Nova Scotia’s clean technology sector by supporting the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment in Sydney to expand into a national biomanufacturing centre.

A $2.5-million investment in the centre, which helps clean-tech companies develop and commercialize innovative and sustainable technologies, was announced today, June 9, by Economic Development Minister Susan Corkum-Greek.

“As Nova Scotia grows its economy into one that is greener and more sustainable, an expanded Verschuren Centre will play an invaluable role in our success,” said Minister Corkum-Greek. “We are thrilled to support this expansion, as biomanufacturing will allow the centre to hire more skilled workers and help companies accelerate and scale up their product development in ways that are not available anywhere else in Canada.”

Biomanufacturing is the process of using living systems, including plant and animal cells, to produce commercial materials. The Verschuren Centre is already home to a bioreactor – one of only three in Canada – but its expansion into a national bioprocessing centre will increase its bioreactor capacity by more than 10 times.

The new facility will be a first of its kind in Canada and result in an initial 40 jobs with an aim to attract 10 new companies per year.

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is also contributing $2 million toward the expansion through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative Infrastructure Fund. An additional $2.3 million is coming from Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, $1.3 million from the Verschuren Centre and $500,000 from DeNova, a clean technology company in Halifax.

The Verschuren Centre’s expansion will play an important role in helping the Minister of Economic Development fulfill her mandate of attracting and growing innovative, sustainable and green businesses across the province and supporting businesses in reducing emissions.

Quotes:

"The Verschuren Centre continues to attract innovative companies and skilled workers to bring disruptive clean technologies to market faster. The centre is a true leader in promoting sustainablity in the Canadian manufacturing sector and is helping put Cape Breton – and Canada – at the forefront of the new bio-economy. We are proud to be supporting this expansion."

- Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister responsible for ACOA

"Biomanufacturing has been cited as the internet of the future in relation to speed of development and impact on sustainable procurement, and as such companies in this field need to scale rapidly in a capital intensive and unencumbered environment. The Verschuren Centre’s new business model was created to provide just that, development speed, capital efficiency and open access technical capacity not readily available elsewhere."

- Beth Mason, President, Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment

"NGen’s investment in the Verschuren Centre’s bioprocessing facility will pave the way for biotechnology and clean-tech entrepreneurs to work together with industry to develop transformative solutions for environmental sustainability. We are pleased to join with our colleagues at ACOA and the Province of Nova Scotia in supporting the scale-up of the Centre’s bioreactor capacity, which promises not only to attract top-notch talent and investment to Cape Breton and Atlantic Canada, but which will also enhance Canada’s position as a world leader in advanced manufacturing."

- Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

Quick Facts:

  • the expansion will help the Verschuren Centre attract top talent from across Canada and internationally to help find solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges
  • the Verschuren Centre and the companies it works with are helping to diversify Nova Scotia’s economy by creating new opportunities in the clean-tech sector
  • the Province’s investment is from the 2021-22 budget

June 9, 2022, Halifax, Nova Scotia