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Inside the Bioeconomy

Nova Scotia’s Bioeconomy is a regenerative system of sectors made up of new and innovative organizations developing sustainable uses for bioresources and biotechnology. This interconnected, circular economy sources, distributes, uses, reuses and finds new applications for renewable bioresources. It lowers our environmental impact and emissions and provides our province with a unique opportunity to build resilience and drive export growth. It consists of the following segments:

Primary Harvesting

It starts with the harvesting of renewable bioresources from the forestry, agriculture and ocean sectors, yielding a range of raw materials such as wood fibre, food crops, seafood and more. Rural areas mainly drive these activities, stimulating rural development and employment while supporting a low-carbon economic transition.


Much of the primary harvest, like fruit, makes its way directly to consumers, but a range of raw materials arrives at Biorefineries, along with by-products from along the supply chain that might have otherwise been discarded. Biorefineries can use novel and dedicated technologies or might be traditional facilities such as sawmills, pulp and paper mills and food processing plants.


Using innovative techniques to get the most value from raw materials, biorefineries convert local biomass into a spectrum of both traditional and new, innovative products. Some of these techniques are improvements on those used for generations, while some are much newer such as torrefaction, pyrolysis and various extraction methods.


From traditional lumber, paper, beverages and fish filets, to innovative bioproducts like plastics, fuels, chemicals and new sources of human and animal nutrition. These innovative products are sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to products derived from carbon-intensive, non-renewable resources such as petroleum and coal.

Closing the Loop

Many bioproducts are compostable and return to the soil to support future growth. Other biomaterials can be collected at the end of their lifecycle, diverting those materials from landfills and sending them back into the Bioeconomy’s circular chain for reprocessing and reuse.

Below are some examples of bioeconomy employers across Nova Scotia.
Visit each page to learn more!

Acadian Seaplants

Acadian Seaplants offers sustainable, high-quality and research-based solutions that satisfy the vital needs for healthy plants, animals and people.


Collaboratively working with Indigenous communities through stories and re-creation, the team of Young and Bierenstiel are working to re-discover maskwiomin. 

Oberland Agriscience

Oberland Agriscience upcycles waste to create high-quality insect protein.  Using a novel waste stabilization process, Oberland transforms discarded green bin waste into nutritious insect feed.  By doing so, they downstream the protein shortage pressure and divert a portion of the organic waste stream.


Smallfood is a microbial ingredient company seeking to evolve how we feed both people and the planet. Through our proprietary biomass fermentation process, we are extracting premium food ingredients such as proteins, omega-3, lipids, and antioxidants for sustainability-focused supplements, health food, and functional food companies.

Sustainable Blue

Sustainable Blue is a responsible Atlantic salmon fishery that is designed to mirror the ocean ecosystem, but on land – protecting wild salmon populations from both disease and overfishing. With this, their mission is to create a sustainable fishery that discharges absolutely zero effluent back into the environment.

Sustane Technologies

Sustane Technologies was founded with one purpose in mind: to create a clean and sustainable world for ourselves and for future generations. They developed a set of disruptive processes to transform municipal solid waste (MSW) streams into high-value fuels and recyclable materials.

Verschuren Centre

The Verschuren Centre is an industrial solutions, development and deployment centre. VC helps develop and adapt global clean technologies such as Renewable energy, Bio-processing, Aquaculture and Nanomaterials toward sustainable resource optimization for existing and new business development in Cape Breton.