Élisabeth Brière announces $2 million in Government of Canada funding for 96 Plus

News release

The Sherbrooke-based business will produce high-purity ethanol and create 28 jobs in the region.

Sherbrooke, Quebec, August 9, 2021Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

The Estrie region counts a number of dynamic businesses and organizations whose innovative ideas help create a strong local economic fabric. Some organizations have succeeded in adapting to the pandemic and are prospering, while others have had to reduce their operations. Now, as we plan for the economic recovery, they need support more than ever to ensure the vitality of their communities. The Government of Canada is committed to assisting them in the pursuit of their activities and to fostering their growth and success.

With this in mind, Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions), today announced $2 million in funding for 96 Plus (9416-8382 Québec inc.). The aim of this innovative startup SME is to produce high-purity, pharmaceutical-grade and food-grade ethanol. The repayable contribution will allow the business to cover part of the cost of acquiring and installing ethanol production equipment, including distillation towers, cooling and ventilation systems, heat and steam equipment and fermenters, as well as professional fees (engineering and certification).

The Government of Canada recognizes and supports innovative businesses and organizations that are a source of pride in their communities. Quebec’s economic recovery relies, among other things, on organizations that are strongly grounded in the regional economy. Innovation is a major contributor to growth, as well as a key asset for rebuilding a stronger, more resilient and more just economy for all. 


“We are helping businesses equip themselves with the tools they need to remain competitive, prosper and create good jobs. With the help of the Government of Canada’s financial assistance, 96 Plus will be able to go ahead with its high-purity ethanol production project, which will help Canada reduce its dependency on foreign products by being able to rely on one of the local businesses involved in Canadian SMEs’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions)

“Helping businesses grow and innovate so that they can become more competitive and create quality jobs is one of our key priorities. This is why we are supporting 96 Plus, a startup that is the pride, not only of the region, but also of the Canadian economy. In these difficult times, we are there to help Quebec and Canadian workers and SMEs; we are making sure they have the tools they need so that, together, we can rebuild a stronger, more resilient and more sustainable economy.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED 

“The startup of 96 Plus will provide Canadian businesses with access to locally produced ethanol. The Sherbrooke plant will produce USP-grade ethanol that meets the highest quality criteria based on Canadian, U.S. and European standards. We are proud to soon be able to offer this high-quality, locally produced product, and we are grateful for CED’s support, which will allow us to set up shop in the Eastern Townships and create good-quality, well-paid jobs.”

Dominic Francœur, President, 96 Plus

Quick facts

  • 96 Plus is breaking new ground through its automated production methods and processes that allow for the recovery of production outputs that will be used by other manufacturers (circular economy). In addition, given the supply of sugar needed to produce ethanol, the project will allow the business to increase the use of inputs produced in Canada, and this will make a considerable contribution to the Canadian economy.

  • Given the quality of the ethanol produced by 96 Plus, the business will be able to supply clients in health-related sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, natural products, cosmetics and food. 

  • The funding was awarded under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. This program targets entrepreneurs who leverage innovation to grow their businesses and make them more competitive, as well as regional economic stakeholders who help create an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation and inclusive growth in all regions.

  • The success of the economic recovery will depend, among other things, on as many Canadians as possible getting vaccinated. For more information: Vaccines for COVID-19

  • CED is the key federal partner for regional economic development in Quebec. Through its 12 regional business offices, CED helps businesses, support organizations, and all the regions of Quebec prepare for the economy of tomorrow.

Associated links



Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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