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Dr. Jiali Shang

Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Talk Title
Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Canadian Bioproduct Value Chain

Talk Abstract

The global economy has begun an inevitable shift towards bio-base driven. The two “Bioproducts Production and Development Surveys” (2009, 2016) by Statistics Canada revealed a rapid increase in bioproduct prodction in Canada. The reported revenue from bioproducts was $1.3 billion in 2009 and $4.3 billion in 2015, which was more than tripled over a short period of six years. Given the elevated emphasis on bioeconomy from both the federal and provincial governments coupled with the demonstrated economic benefit, the bioproduct value chain will be inevitably experiencing rapid expansion. Under the new 5-year national plan starting in 2018, the federal government has set bioeconomy as a strategic priority in research and innovation for Canada. Agriculture-based feedstock is one of the pillars for building a healthy bioeconomy. Clear and accurate understanding of the current status and challenges of the Canadian agriculture-based bioproduct value chain is critical for making well-targeted policies to guide and support the growth of agriculture-based bioproduct sector. Given the rapid development of the bioproduct industry, however, a huge knowledge gap is waiting to be filled. In particular, there is a disconnection between market demand and the bioproduct supply chain. This disconnection has been acting as a barrier hindering the growth and competitiveness of Canada’s bioeconomy. For example, the producers of the Province of Ontario have been using 50% as the removal rate for corn stovers, which was based on work conducted in Iowa, USA. The Canadian agricultural lands are of different soil types and climatic conditions, and it is important to develop local science-based guidelines that producers can rely on for sustainable biomass harvest, taking into consideration of crop biomass yield, soil needs, and crop rotations. To bridge the knowledge and data gap, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has launched a 3-year study at the national level in 2017. The research program will address a suite a issues that are closely linked to the bioproduct production: 1) landscape design for purposely grown feedstock crops; 2) maximizing the use of bioresources; 3) precision agriculture in support of sustainable harvest of crop residue. This talk will report on recent research findings with a focus on the agricultural-based bioproduct value chain in Ontario, Canada. The information will cover the entire bioproduct production value chain from field-based crop biomass production to farm co-op organizations that administering the forward contracting and post-harvest delivery of the agricultural feedstock, to the first and secondary bioproduct manufactures with the aid of Earth observation technology. This information will improve the general understanding on the current status and challenges facing the Canadian bioeconomy. More specifically, it will provide AAFC and the biopproduct sector the most updated information and problematic areas for action. Knowledge gained from this research has the potential to benefit other countries as well..

Short Biography

Dr. Jiali Shang is a research scientist at the Ottawa Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and adjunct professor of Nipissing University, Canada. She received her Bsc. in geography from Beijing Normal University, China, M.A. in Geography from University of Windsor, and Ph.D. in Environmental Remote Sensing from University of Waterloo, Canada. She has been actively involved in the methodology development and application of Earth Observation (EO) technology to vegetation biophysical parameter retrieval, crop growth modeling, and precision farming using both optial and radar EO data. Dr. Shang has served as international scientific authority for funding proposal reviews for Canada, US, Switzerland, and Brussels. She has been invited to give workshops, guest lectures, keynote and plenary speeches at many countries. In recognition of her expertise in the application of radar remote sensing to agriculture applications, Dr. Shang was invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to give a talk at the International Workshop on Remote Sensing-Beyond Images, Mexico City, Mexico, December 14-15, 2013. Dr. Shang has over 80 peerreviewed journal publications and book chapters. In 2015, the paper she co-authored on “Simplified adaptive volume scattering model and scattering analysis of crops over agricultural fields using the RADARSAT-2 polarimetric synthetic aperture radar imagery” was awarded the Best Paper for Theoretical Innovation by the American Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). She has lad multiple national and international research programs to develop EO applications to agriculture. In addition to research, Dr. Shang is also activiely involved in student educations and postdoc supervision.

Talk Keywords
Bioproduct feedstock, bioeconomy, sustainable crop residue harvest, supply chain, Earth observation.
Target Audience
Researchers, Government policy makers, Industrail leaders, Environmental protections agencies, Farmers alliances,
Students, General publics
Speaker-intro video

The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)