Verschuren Centre expansion will help cleantech entrepreneurs find solutions to environmental challenges

News release

First-of-its-kind bioprocessing facility in Canada will help growing network of firms pilot technologies to accelerate and scale up sustainable product development

June 9, 2022 · Sydney, Nova Scotia (Kjikank, Unam’kik) · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada is gaining global recognition as a hotbed for successful innovation-based startups. With organizations like the Verschuren Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the region is attracting high-growth tech companies, not only from other parts of Canada, but also from around the world.

Home to one of only three bioreactors in Canada, the Centre helps cleantech companies develop new sustainable technologies and bring them to market. These companies are helping to diversify Cape Breton’s economy by providing new opportunities for cleantech jobs and increasing investment in the area. 

Scaling up cutting edge clean technology

Today, Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso, announced a non-repayable contribution of $2,000,000, through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI) - Infrastructure Fund, to the Verschuren Centre to expand its highly specialized lab facility and increase its bioreactor capacity by ten times. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

Jaime Battiste, Parliament Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney–Victoria, also took part in the announcement.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to help communities diversify economies, create jobs and prepare for the future.


“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.”
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

“Investments like this are helping Cape Breton – Unama’ki turn the page from traditional industries toward a more diversified and sustainable local economy. This growing biotechnology cluster is attracting talent, creating well-paying jobs and will have a lasting impact on our community.”
-  Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso  

“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. 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.”
The Honourable Susan Corkum-Greek, Minister of Economic Development, Province of Nova Scotia

“NGen’s investment in the Verschuren Centre’s bioprocessing facility will pave the way for biotechnology and cleantech 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 (NGen)

“Biomanufacturing has been cited as the internet of the future in relation to speed of development and impact on sustainable procurement. 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, the Verschuren Centre

Quick facts

  • Additional funding for the expansion includes $2,500,000 from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Economic Development, $2,264,700 from NGen, $1,340,000 from the Verschuren Centre and $500,000 from DeNova.

  • The Verschuren Centre is a registered not-for-profit research, development and demonstration facility providing contracted services to industry and community in the areas of bioprocessing, marine processing, carbon transformation, bioplastics, energy storage and sustainable resource use.

  • The Centre is working with more than 40 companies to develop innovative new bioeconomy and green energy ideas.

  • With this expansion, the Verschuren Centre will create a first-of-its-kind facility in Canada that will be accessible to a growing number of SMEs to pilot sustainable technology solutions.

  • Launched on August 20, 2020, the Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI) – Infrastructure Fund is a $150 million fund, delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), that aims to help communities move away from coal by investing in infrastructure. The initiative is set to end on March 31, 2025. 

  • In Atlantic Canada, ACOA is delivering $55 million under the CCTI initiatives.

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Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lauren Sinclair
Communications Director
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Gary Andrea
Department of Economic Development
Province of Nova Scotia 

Robbie MacLeod
Director, Strategic Communications

Beth Mason
President, Verschuren Centre

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