Canadian Innovation Leads to Greener Insulation Products

News release

February 4, 2020                                                         Ottawa, Ontario                                                       Natural Resources Canada

Finding innovative ways to develop everyday products is key to reducing our environmental footprint and meeting our climate change commitments. The Government of Canada is collaborating with small businesses to reduce pollution and help create a greener, more sustainable environment for everyone.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $300,000 investment in the first phase of the Biofoam Insulation Challenge, aimed at developing greener insulation products from forest residues.

The investment will be split between two recipients whose concepts are comparable in price and performance to traditional insulations, are bio-based (predominantly derived from domestic forest residue), fully recyclable and generate fewer emissions during production. The recipients are:

  • Mecanum Inc., based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, which is developing a thermo-acoustic foam insulation panel using a minimum of 60 percent kraft lignin, a wood pulp component used to generate energy.
  • Western Maple Bio Resources Inc., based in London, Ontario, which is using pine sawdust and forest residue to develop a biofoam made with more than 70 percent bio-content.

Sponsored by Natural Resources Canada, the challenge is part of the Domestic Plastics Challenge under the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program. If accepted into the second phase of the challenge, the recipients could receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype of their innovation.

ISC is a $100 million program dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to complex environmental challenges. The Government of Canada may then act as a first customer, helping these small businesses commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good jobs for Canadians.


“Our government is proud to invest in breakthrough technologies, like the ones being developed by Mecanum Inc. and Western Maple Bio Resources Inc. through the Biofoam Insulation Challenge. By using forest residue, these innovators are developing bio-based foam insulation products that are greener and less flammable than other products on the market.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Our government is leveraging its significant purchasing power to help Canadian small businesses, like Mecanum Inc. and Western Maple Bio Resources Inc., become more competitive. By turning to Canadian innovators for their best ideas, we’re accessing quality products to solve some of our most pressing challenges while helping businesses grow and create good jobs.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“In the next two years, Mecanum’s development of an optimized thermo-acoustic sustainable material will be accelerated thanks to the grant from phase one of the Biofoam Insulation Challenge. This material will be the first to link both microstructure and thermo-acoustic properties.”

Kevin Verdiere
Research and Development Director, Mecanum Inc.

“Western Maple Bio Resources Inc. is proud to be one of the phase-one winners of the Biofoam Insulation Challenge. Our “Production of bio-oil-acrylate-amine (BOAA) spray foams with forestry residues” project aims to develop inexpensive bio-based foam insulation materials from forestry/agricultural residues with comparable properties as commercial polyurethane foams.”

Dr. Sean Yuan
Chief Technology Officer, Western Maple Bio Resources Inc.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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