Bioeconomy Financing – Bringing Innovation to Market


Parallel Workshops II, 19th April, 16:45 - 18:45 / Track: "Industry"



  • Harry Baumes, former Director, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, USDA
  • Anne-Hélène Mathey, Acting Director, Economic Analysis Division, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada



Chanchoura Schmoll, Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service


The bioeconomy presents a tremendous opportunity to mitigate the impacts of climate change and transition to low carbon economy, while promoting economic growth, prosperity and societal well-being. Despite the benefits, the bioeconomy is in the early stages of development with emerging supply chains with varying degrees of complexity (e.g. purpose grown biomass or residues from existing agricultural or forestry operations). Governments around the world are still developing policies to support the bioeconomy and assessing what their role is in helping companies overcome the “valley of death”. A lack of financing for bioeconomy projects and technical hurdles to commercialization and scaling up have been identified as barriers to the deployment and commercialization of bioeconomy technologies and supply chains.

This workshop focuses on the factors that enable the deployment of bioeconomy businesses, in particular the public and private financing/investment of innovative technologies. The objectives of this session are:

  • To highlight the opportunities and challenges in moving companies from S&T to commercialization;
  • To explore cooperative versus competitive incentive structures for innovation;
  • To identify alternative approaches to derisking steps along the supply chain;
  • To share success stories and identify their key success factors; and
  • To share lessons learned and best practices for deploying and commercializing new technologies in the bioeconomy

The expected outcome is a lively interactive session that includes a candid discussion about the realities of moving bioeconomy technologies from S&T to commercialization.


Room setup – six tables with 5-10 people at a table (30-70 participants)

The workshop format will include brief presentations by speakers who will provide overview comments on bringing innovative technologies to market from various perspectives: (1) research public-private partnership, (2) public financing/government, and (3) private financing (two speakers). Following the presentations, there will be an interactive component where participants, organized into six tables, will be invited to identify and discuss what they feel are key success factors for technology commercialization and deployment. Each table will be given a list of questions to consider and after 20 minutes, a representative from each group will be asked to report back to the larger group.

After the table discussions, two companies will present their experiences and lessons learned in commercializing their technologies or products. After the presentations, there will be brief table discussions about the company presentations, with a particular focus on how the key success factors identified previously align with the real world experiences of the two companies. Each table will be asked to provide feedback to the group regarding their discussion.

  • Opening remarks by Moderator (5 minutes)
  • Presentation by Kimberly Samaha, Chief Executive Officer, Synthesis Venture Fund Partners and Born Global LLC (10 minutes)
  • Presentation by Jean-François Levasseur, Director, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resource Canada (10 minutes)
  • Presentation by Philippe Mengal, Executive Director, Bio-Based Industries (10 minutes)
  • Table discussions “what are the most important enabling factors for deployment” (20 minutes)
  • Report Back to Group – summary of table discussions (15 minutes)
  • Presentation by Sébastien Corbeil, CEO and President, Celluforce (10 minutes) – presenting their success factors and what helped them
  • Presentation by Martin Langer, Executive Vice President Corporate Development, BRAIN AG (10 minutes) – presenting their success factors and what helped them
  • Table Discussions (15 minutes)
  • Report Back to Group (10 minutes)
  • Closing remarkets by Moderator (5 minutes)  



  • Jean-François Levasseur, Director of Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
  • Dr. Kimberly Samaha, Chief Executive Officer, Synthesis Venture Fund Partners and Born Global LLC
  • Participating companies: to be announced