October 16-18, 2018


Valhalla Inn - Thunder Bay, Ontario


Over 30 Expert Speakers



About #BNDC2018

The 3rd annual Biomass North Forum took place from October 16-18, 2018 on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  With this year’s theme of Mapping Canada’s Bioeconomy: Drivers, Roadblocks and Bridges, #BNDC2018 served as a cross-country checkup to showcase how government, industry, academia and communities throughout the country are navigating towards a sustainable bioeconomy future.  Discover how growth in the sector will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy, and why a competitive national bioeconomy is critical to the success of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Program & Schedule
About #BNDC2017

Program & Presentations

Workshop 1: District Heating System Design in Canada. A review of biomass and CHP solutions

Date: October 16, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Odin Room (Valhalla Inn Hotel)

Delivered By: Intech Clean Energy Inc - Hansjörg Vollmer and Christina Boskovic

This workshop is intended for participants projecting to build a biomass heating plant and/or to use CHP particularly when electric power is generated with diesel engines for their community, city or company as well as for anyone interested in the topic.

The session will begin with an overview of the Canadian current situation regarding biomass heating systems followed by a brief presentation of Intech Clean Energy Inc. and its renewable energy solutions.

During this workshop, the participants will have the opportunity to learn about the advantages of a biomass heating system in particular in cold climate conditions. This system provides a cost-effective and efficient heat and/or electric energy production in the long term.  Participants will also work in groups to discuss case studies and how to implement them in their own projects. Hansjörg Vollmer, CEO of Intech Clean Energy Inc., with more than 30 years of experience in this field, will lead this activity and will give his expertise on the feasibility on plants for specific cases. Key factors and best practices to planning a biomass heating system will also be given.

There will be opportunity for discussions and questions.

Workshop 2: Northern Ontario Bioheat Workshop – Call to Action

Date: October 16, 2018
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Odin Room (Valhalla Inn Hotel)

Delivered By: Biomass North Development Centre - Dawn Lambe, Executive Director


Renewable, sustainable, cleantech bioheat will be a game changer for northern Ontario economic development. By reducing heating costs by up to 60%, creating hundreds of local job, and reducing the north’s carbon footprint, bioheat is the catalyst the north needs to build the new bioeconomy.

This workshop will bring together community and industry leaders, experts and innovators, residents and policy makers, to create a northern Ontario Bioheat Conversion Program. If your community, public space, or business is interested in reducing heating costs, creating local jobs, and attracting investment, this workshop is a must.

An overview of cleantech bioheat options (this is NOT your grandpa’s woodstove) and a discussion of the economic benefits of deep fuel switching to bioheat will set the stage for a series of focused activities. Activities include assessing real costs for conversion, identifying biomass availability in your community/region, assessing wood pellet demand, identifying funding options, and building the business case for public funding for deep-fuel switching.

Participants will be given the opportunity to join a working group to build the Northern Ontario Bioheat Strategy.

#BNDC2018 Opening Remarks

To set the stage for #BNDC2018, here we will have opening remarks from Biomass North and our gracious local hosts, as well as recognize we are in Treaty territory.

Gianni Kovacevic

Keynote – The Science Economy: How the Fusion of Technology and Energy will impact your Life, your Business and your Future

Through artful storytelling and finely illustrated analysis, keynote speaker Gianni Kovacevic will engage audiences about the fusion between technology and energy. He will share how this will impact your life, your business and your future. Will you have more or less customers in the future and what is the impact of established economies versus emerging economies? Learn about the global shifts in energy production that are changing our world, the role technology plays and how environmental concerns will naturally figure into the economy of the future.

Government Leadership in the Bioeconomy

Hear from leaders within different levels of government on how their respective agencies show effective leadership to spur the growth of the Canadian bioeconomy. From policy directives to program development to funding support.


Chief Isadore Day - Bimaadzwin Inc. / Serpent River First Nation / Anishinabek Nation
CEO And Founder / Chief / Regional Grand Chief

Forest Bioeconomy & Bioenergy for Indigenous & Remote Locations
Jean-François Levasseur, Director, Industry, Innovation and Indigenous Programs Division - NRCan – Canadian Forest Service

Leadership in the BioEconomy
David Mackett, Director, Resource Development and Sustainability - Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation

Government Leadership in the Bioeconomy
Walter Manitowabi, Community Engagement - Mitigokaa Development Corp

Biopower in Commercial and Industrial Applications

Using biomass to generate electricity has the potential for baseload power production, behind-the-meter applications, GHG emission reductions, and supports the growth of regional biomass supply chain. Learn about the opportunities, challenges, and successes with biopower production in Canada.


Biomass in The North
Jeff Parnell, Vice President - Power Workers' Union

Biopower Solutions for Commercial and Industrial Applications
Hansjörg Vollmer, Chief Executive Officer - Intech Clean Energy

Biomass Energy Project Development and Execution
Dennis Widdifield, Senior Project Manager / Technical Specialist – Pöyry (Appleton) LLC

Biofuels and Deep Fuel Switching

When looking at the national (and global) energy supply as a pie, biofuels are increasingly becoming be a part of the pie mix. With applications in transportation fuels, drop-in fuels, bio-based oils, and many others, learn about the status of today's most relevant biofuel options and where they stand in terms of current uptake, technical and economic feasibility, and market predictions.


Production & use of bioethanol by the autotransport sector in Mexico
Dr. Arturo Sánchez Carmona, President - Mexican Innovation Centre on Bioenergy

Research and Innovation for Canada's Bioeconomy at the Biorefining Research Institute
Lew Christopher, Director - Biorefining Research Institute, Lakehead University

Forest Residues Biorefinery: A Diversification Potential for Traditional Forest Industries
Patrice Mangin, Chief Executive Officer - Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT)

Bioheat Solutions for Communities

Bioheat applications are long-proven and effective towards substituting fossil fuel use, reducing heating costs, building supply chains, and in many cases are ideally suited for communities throughout Canada (particularly in remote and rural areas). Learn from the experts on  current bioheat initiatives, feasible technologies, and insights on opportunities to grow the bioheat sector.


NAN's Wood Stove Change-out Pilot Program
Derek Fox, Deputy Grand Chief - Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Let's Combine Individual Strengths - We Have The Same Goals
Alexander Zangerle, Manager - Herz Canada

Small Scale District Energy Systems for Local Communities
Andreas Wintzer, Commercial and Biomass System Manager - Viessmann Canada

Sustainable Practices and Climate Mitigation

Implementing sustainable practices within communities, businesses, industry and institutions makes a lot of sense – but the first step towards low-carbon innovation is understanding (and accepting) the benefits of change.  This panel is for educating on how sustainable, low-carbon practices can reinforce the core objectives of reducing GHG emissions, while simultaneously promoting sustainable development.


Forest Bioenergy and Lifecycle GHG Emissions in Nova Scotia
James Steenberg, Forest Carbon and Climate Change Analyst - Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry

Net-zero buildings and the skilled trades gap: How we are training the next generation of builders
Nathan Manion, Project Manger - Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC)

The relevance of sustainable practices in the development of a Bio-economy as Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy
Obie Agusiegbe, CEO - EnvironFocus

3rd Annual Awards Ceremony

As part of Biomass North Forum 2018, our 3rd annual Awards Ceremony took place the evening of October 17th at the Valhalla Inn and Suites in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Here we recognized and congratulated leaders in Canada’s bioeconomy for their hard-earned achievements in the field.

Congratulations to this year’s nominees and award winners!

Municipal Leadership in the Bioeconomy
City of Prince George

Indigenous Leadership in the Bioeconomy
Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Government Leadership in the Bioeconomy
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

Industry Leadership in the Bioeconomy
Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE)

Champion in the Bioeconomy
Walter Manitowabi

Click Here for full details on our Award Winners!

#BNDC2018 Opening Remarks

To recap the previous day's activities and kickoff the final day of #BNDC2018.

Accelerating Cleantech and Innovation

Canada has an abundant supply of sustainable biomass feedstocks which are capable of producing the energy, chemicals and value-added products of tomorrow. Hear from leaders who are working to accelerating biomass cleantech applications and innovation opportunities.


CRIBE's Role in Accelerating Innovation in the Bioeconomy
Chris Walton, Chief Executive Officer - CRIBE

Prince George, BC – A Bio-Economy Leader
Melissa Barcellos, Manager, Economic Development - City of Prince George

Sustainable Plastic Packaging from Recycled and Renewable Plastics, and/or Industrial Food Waste
Michael Snowdon, Lab Manager and Research Development Specialist - Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC)

FPInnovations Biorefinery Activity in Thunder Bay
Kirsten Maki, Associate Research Leader, Bio-Economy Technology Centre - FP Innovations

Best Practices in Collaboration

Collaboration among sectors, expertise and, most importantly, cultures, offers incredible opportunities for insight and sustainable development. It can also be complicated. Learn about how organizations and individuals are practicing meaningful collaboration to co-create biomass solutions.


Navigating the Trade Ecosystem: New Portal Overcomes the Barriers for Businesses
Devon Franklin, Project Manager - Magnet Export Business Portal, Ryerson University

Towards Full Participation in Forestry
David Flood, General Manager - Wahkohtowin Development GP Inc.

Creating Partnerships with Indigenous Communities and Businesses
Georjann Morriseau, Director, Indigenous Affairs - Resolute Forest Products

Best Practices in Collaboration
Walter Manitowabi, Community Engagement - Mitigokaa Development Corp

World Café: Mapping the Canadian Bioeconomy from Here to 2030

What do YOU think your community, region, and the Canadian bioeconomy should look like in 2030? What are your goals? What are our strengths? Where are our barriers? What’s necessary to get from Point A to Point Z? Join us for this interactive world café exercise to discuss how communities, businesses and government throughout Canada can grow a prosperous Canadian bioeconomy.

Mapping the Bioeconomy - Getting to 2030 (interactive exercise)
Moderator: Dawn Lambe, Executive Director - Biomass North Development Centre

Looking to 2030

What will the Canadian and global bioeconomy look like in 2030? How will the research, partnerships and investments of today impact the realities of tomorrow?  Learn about how Canadian innovation is supporting transformation in our products and applications to ensure that Canada will benefit from the transition to a low-carbon bioeconomy.


Looking to 2030: Perspectives from the Forest Products Sector
Mahima Sharma, Manager, Environment and Regulatory Affairs - Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

BioEconomy Outlook for Canada from Here to 2030
Dan Goldberger, Chair – Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA)

Northern Greenhouse & Bio-Economy Futures - How Going Green Will Save Money, Provide Jobs and Improve Health Outcomes
Andreas Zailo, Founder and CEO - ASM Innovations Inc.

#BNDC2018 Closing Ceremony

A final recap of #BNDC2018 and closing remarks.

SES Biotechnology and Allied Sciences Symposium (SESBASS) – Morning Session

We are pleased to partner with Lakehead University on their inaugural SES Biotechnology and Allied Sciences Symposium (SESBASS), to be held October 17-19, 2018. The theme for this years symposium is Technologies for a Changing World.

On October 18th, SESBASS will join forces with #BNDC2018 to lead research-focused breakout sessions at the Forum.

SESBASS Morning Agenda:

10:30 – 11:00 - Dr. Arturo Sánchez Carmona, Cinvestav Bioenergy Futures Laboratory - Mexican Centre for Innovation in Bioenergy (Mexico)
Sustainability analysis of improved-cost biohydrogen production using advanced biorefineries.

11:00 – 11:15 - Olga Ayala, Cinvestav Bioenergy Futures Laboratory (Mexico)
Native microbial consortia analysis during the semi-continuous hydrogen production from divers lignocellulosic biomass

11:15 – 11:30 - Dr. Vasudeo Zambare, Post-doctoral fellow - Biorefining Research Institute
Low-cost glucose production from pulp and paper mill sludge

11:30 – 11:45 - Ayyappa Sista Kameshwar, Biotechnology PhD candidate - Lakehead University
Molecular networks of Postia placenta involved in degradation of lignocellulosic biomass revealed from metadata analysis of open access gene expression data

11:45 – 12:00 - Niloofar Alipoormazandarani, Biotechnology PhD candidate - Lakehead University
A lignin adsorption model on a cationic treated surface, focused on pH and ionic strength effect

SES Biotechnology and Allied Sciences Symposium (SESBASS) – Afternoon Session

SESBASS Afternoon Agenda:

1:00 – 1:15 - Dr. Sudip Rakshit, Biorefining Research Institute and Lakehead University
The evolution of biorefining and its challenges

1:15 – 2:15 - Panel Discussion/World Café
Dr. Arturo Sánchez Carmona, Dr. Sudip Rakshit, Dr. Lew Christopher, Dr. Pedram Fatehi, and Dr. Wensheng Qin Description of the world café process and the questions/topics to be discussed.

Forum Sponsors

Supported By:


PWU logo


Forum Speakers

Keynote Speaker: October 17




Gianni Kovacevic is an internationally known investor and strategist who specializes in decoding complicated current events. He is a published author who draws from over 20,000 hours of research, and is a sought-after commentator related to wide ranging themes –  from the divestment pivot in modern energy, to the rise of a new spending class in emerging markets.

An avid proponent of realistic environmentalism, he has enlightened audiences around the world with his unique brand of storytelling that colourfully demonstrates how the environment and investment often go hand-in- hand.

Frequently interviewed by the media, he is known for his algebraic way of thinking when providing solutions to complicated global problems. His new book, My Electrician Drives a Porsche? was introduced to audiences by way of a one-of- a-kind coast to coast journey across America in an all-electric Tesla, now credited as the world’s first zero
emission book tour.

Gianni is a graduate of electrical studies from The British Columbia Institute of Technology, and he is an established expert in the analysis of the global energy matrix and in the study of how technology will impact commodities and emerging markets.  Fluent in English, German, Italian, and Croatian, he makes his home in Vancouver, BC Canada.

James Steenberg

Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry

Forest Carbon and Climate Change Analyst

David Flood

Wahkohtowin Development GP Inc.

General Manager

Andreas Zailo

ASM Innovations Inc.

Founder and CEO

Chief Isadore Day

Bimaadzwin Inc. / Serpent River First Nation / Anishinabek Nation

CEO and Founder / Chief / Regional Grand Chief

Devon Franklin

Magnet Export Business Portal, Ryerson University

Project Manager

Jean-François Levasseur

NRCan – Canadian Forest Service

Director, Industry, Innovation and Indigenous Programs Division

Dr. Arturo Sánchez Carmona

Mexican Innovation Centre on Bioenergy


Dan Goldberger

Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA)


Dennis Widdifield

Pöyry (Appleton) LLC

Senior Project Manager / Technical Specialist - Biomass

Derek Fox

Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Deputy Grand Chief

Hansjörg Vollmer

Intech Clean Energy Inc.

Chief Executive Officer

Francis Gallo

Biomass North Development Centre

Project Director

Mahima Sharma

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

Manager, Environment and Regulatory Affairs

Georjann Morriseau

Resolute Forest Products

Director, Indigenous Affairs

Lew Christopher

Biorefining Research Institute, Lakehead University


Alexander Zangerle

Herz Canada


Michael Snowdon

Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC)

Lab Manager and Research Development Specialist

Kirsten Maki


Associate Research Leader, Bio-Economy Technology Centre

Nathan Manion

Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC)

Project Manger

Obie Agusiegbe



Andreas Wintzer

Viessmann Canada

Commercial and Biomass System Manager

Jeff Parnell

Power Workers' Union

Vice President

Chris Walton

Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE)

Chief Executive Officer

David Mackett

Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation

Director, Resource Development and Sustainability

Walter Manitowabi

Mitigokaa Development Corp

Community Engagement

Melissa Barcellos

City of Prince George

Manager, Economic Development

Patrice Mangin

BioÉnergie La Tuque (BELT)

Chief Executive Officer

Dawn Lambe

Biomass North Development Centre

Executive Director

Forum Exhibitors

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is #BNDC2018 taking place?
#BNDC2018 takes place from October 16-18 at the Valhalla Inn in beautiful Thunder Bay, Ontario.  October 16 will consist of optional workshops and facility tours, as well as our Opening Ceremony in the evening.  October 17 conference activities include expert panels, breakout sessions, trade show, and B2B meetings; the evening of the 17th is our 3rd Annual Awards Gala.  October 18 is a continuation of the expert panels, breakout sessions, trade show and networking opportunities, as well as academic contributions from Lakehead University's SESBASS event.

Where should I stay when visiting Thunder Bay?
If travelling the most convenient place to stay is the Valhalla Inn, as all conference activities will take place here (and tours will begin here).  Other hotels within 10-minutes walking distance include the Best Western Thunder Bay Crossroads, Comfort Inn, Airlane Hotel and Conference Centre, and Hampton Inn & Suites Thunder Bay.

Is there a discounted hotel rate for #BNDC2018 participants?
A room block will be held at the Valhalla Inn for #BNDC2018 participants until September 21, 2018 ($129 + HST for Deluxe Twin Queen or Deluxe King). Please reference Biomass North Forum (booking number 181016BIOM) when booking your accommodations.
How can I register?
You can register online through Eventbrite.  Please contact us If you are unable to register online or if you require assistance.

As a Biomass North member am I eligible for a registration discount?
Absolutely!  Standard members are eligible for a 5% discount, and Premium members a 10% discount on registration. Contact us to access your member discount code or find out more about our membership.

What meal functions are included in the registration fee?
A Full Event Pass includes breakfast, lunch and refreshments on October 17 and 18, as well as refreshments during the Opening Reception on October 16.  A Full Event Pass OR Awards Gala ticket includes dinner and refreshments the evening of October 17.

I only want to attend one day or session of the conference.  Is that possible?
The Awards Gala can be attended independently (still requires registration) and the trade show will be open to the public (no cost).  Otherwise, you must purchase a Full Event Pass to gain access to #BNDC2018.

Can I pay for registration after the event?
No, registration must be paid for prior to the event.

Panels and Breakout Sessions

Where are the conference activities taking place?
All activities are taking place at the Valhalla Inn, while tour shuttles will leave from and return to the Valhalla.  Please refer to the Program and Schedule for each session’s location/meeting room within the Valhalla.


Are workshops included in the conference registration?
Workshops are NOT automatically included with your #BNDC2018 registration and will require separate registration to participate (space will be limited for each workshop and tour).
Can I still register for a workshop if I am not a conference attendee?
Priority admission to workshops and tours will be granted to #BNDC2018 participants, but if space becomes available we will open this to non-attendees.

Awards Gala

How can I make a nomination for the Awards Gala?
Easy!  Refer to our official Nomination Package for all details on our 3rd annual Awards Gala.  Nominations will be accepted until September 14, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

Become a Speaker

How can I become a speaker?
Please refer to our Call for Speakers to share your expertise at #BNDC2018.

B2B and Networking 

Will there be space to have private meetings at #BNDC2018?
Yes!  Participants will have access to semi-private meeting spaces at the Valhalla for you to connect with your current or future partners.
Can I advertise in the conference program?
Absolutely!  This year we are offering advertising space in the conference program to any interested organization (ie. not limited to sponsors, exhibitors or participants).  Please contact us for rates.
How can my organization become a #BNDC2018 sponsor?
Please refer to our Sponsor and Exhibitor Package for full details/benefits and contact us for rates.
How can my organization become a #BNDC2018 exhibitor?
Please refer to our Sponsor and Exhibitor Package for full details/benefits and contact us with any questions. Space for exhibitors will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis, as booths will be limited.
What are my options with exhibitor spaces?
This year we are offering indoor and outdoor exhibiting opportunities for your organization.
  • Standard Booths - 8' x 6' space in Ballroom 3
  • Premium Booths – 10' x 10' space in Ballroom 3 or Ballroom Foyer
  • Outdoor Exhibits – space outdoors for equipment or demonstrations
Are there bundling options available if I want to sponsor and exhibit?
Of course!  Please contact us to inquire on our bundling options.
How do I get to Thunder Bay?
Regular scheduled flights to YQT Thunder Bay Airport include the following airlines:
If travelling by road, click here for directions to the Valhalla Inn.

Are there shuttles available from the airport to the Valhalla Inn?
The Valhalla Inn provides its guests with complimentary airport shuttles to/from the airport. Please contact the Valhalla to arrange for a shuttle.

Where can I park, and is there a fee?
Parking is available on site at the Valhalla Inn.  There is no fee to park.

I am not staying at the conference hotel – will there be shuttles going to the Valhalla for the conference?
There will not be pre-arranged shuttles going to the Valhalla from other hotels or locations.  Please make your travel arrangements accordingly
How can I volunteer at #BNDC2018, and what types of positions will be available?
Please contact us if you would like to volunteer at #BNDC2018.  We will be posting a call for AV Technicians, Registration Clerks and Security.
I am a vegetarian.  Who do I contact?
Please contact us if you are a vegetarian or if you have urgent dietary restrictions.  We also request this information with your ticket registration.
Is the Valhalla accessible for people with limited mobility?
The Valhalla Inn has a ramp at the front entrance, elevators, as well as accessible guest rooms available at request.  All conference rooms are wheelchair accessible.
My question is not listed here. Who do I contact?
Please contact us at with any additional questions.

Location & Accommodations

Valhalla Inn

1 Valhalla Inn Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7E 6J1

Telephone: (807) 577-1121
Toll Free: 1-800-964-1121

Visit Website

A room block will be held at the Valhalla for #BNDC2018 participants until October 1, 2018 ($129+HST for Deluxe Twin Queen or Deluxe King).
Please reference Biomass North Forum (booking number 181016BIOM) when booking your accommodations.

Contact Us

For all inquiries and questions regarding Biomass North Forum 2018 please contact us today!




Francis Gallo, Project Director

Mailing Address:

Biomass North Development Centre
176 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 3
North Bay, Ontario P1A 2A8