Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

MaRS Cleantech Fund moves into next-gen biofuels with investment in Woodland Biofuels

December 11, 2012

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The MaRS Cleantech Fund is pleased to
announce the completion of a venture deal with Woodland Biofuels,
positioned to become North America’s lowest-cost producer of ethanol.

“The MaRS Cleantech fund seeks technologies with the potential to
revolutionize the energy sector,” says Tom Rand, co-managing director
of the Fund. “Woodland Biofuels is on track to become the first company
to profitably make renewable fuels from non-food sources without
requiring any form of subsidy. That’s the kind of game-changer we

Woodland Biofuels produces cellulosic ethanol from wood chips and other
types of biomass, converting forestry and agricultural waste into fuel
using a proprietary gasification and three-step catalytic conversion
process. The company recently opened a demonstration plant in Sarnia,

“Woodland’s demonstration plant will show that our technology can
produce renewable fuels from cellulose, reliably and at low cost,” says
Greg Nuttall, CEO of Woodland Biofuels. “We look forward to working
with MaRS to bring this important technology into full commercial

Rand notes that liquid fuels – gasoline, diesel and jet fuel – are the
most difficult components of the fossil fuel infrastructure to replace
with renewables.

“First-generation fuels from food are a non-starter – they can’t scale
up,” says Rand. “There were a few early, high-profile failures in
cellulosic fuels, which made investors flee the sector. But if you do
your homework, it’s clear not all second-generation technologies are
equal. With Woodland, we believe we’ve found a technology that can
deliver on the promise of renewable fuel.”

Murray McCaig, the Fund’s co-managing partner, says it targets the
technology component of a sustainable economy – investing in companies
that solve big problems in order to reap big rewards.

“According to Ottawa-based Analytica Advisors, the global cleantech
market is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2020,” McCaig says. “If
Canada got just two per cent of the cleantech market by 2020, which
happens to be our share of carbon emissions, we’d build a $60 billion
industry. That’s the market we’re going after.”

About the MaRS Cleantech Fund LP
The MaRS Cleantech Fund LP (www.marsvf.com) is a private venture fund focused on early-stage cleantech investing,
with a unique partnership with MaRS Discovery District. MCF invests up
to $3 million per investee company. All investee companies are MaRS
portfolio clients. The fund is managed by Tom Rand (www.tomrand.net) (@tomrand) and Murray McCaig.

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto.
MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify
innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next
generation of growth companies.

About Woodland Biofuels
Woodland Biofuels Inc. (www.woodlandbiofuels.com) is a privately owned Canadian company that has developed and patented low-cost process technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from
renewable biomass. Woodland’s strategy is to build, own and operate
cellulosic ethanol plants, together with pursuing selected licensing

SOURCE MaRS Discovery District

Source: PR Newswire