Toni Anderson, BBA, MScF, EP
By Toni Anderson, BBA, MScF, EP on February 18, 2015

How we are Helping Advance the Bio-Economy in Alberta

Our Guide to BRIMS

In early 2012, Alberta Innovates Bio-Solutions engaged Silvacom to begin work on the Bio-Resource Information Management System (BRIMS) project.

BRIMS is a multi-phase project that was initiated as part of the Government of Alberta initiative - Alberta’s Ecosystem Services Roadmap. The goal of the Ecosystem Services (ES) Roadmap is to bring Alberta to the forefront of innovation in the provision of ES through the use of market-based instruments in order to achieve green growth and sustainable development. The BRIMS framework was built to directly contribute to the Roadmap by providing a single source for the best provincial bio-resource data.

BRIMS can be summarized as a province-wide system that collates data and information on land-use and ecosystem services to enable informed resource management decisions. BRIMS fills a pressing need in Alberta and contributes to a number of other industry and government priorities, including the provision of a centralized location for natural resource, ecosystem services and land-use data, as well as advancing interdisciplinary science and environmental stewardship.

A Multi-Phased Project

Phase one of BRIMS collected biomass data and identified any gaps within the data. To do this we developed a bio-economy resources assessment framework database and carried out a bio-economy resource assessment for the province of Alberta. Other developments included a centralized database and portal to communicate, store and share all the deliverables and outcomes from this project.

Phase two was designed to “operationalize” the assembly and distribution of investment-grade data available to assist in informed decision-making on critical ecosystem services in Alberta. Biomass was the first ecosystem service to be incorporated in BRIMS. During this phase we improved existing data and created a geospatial web application to support spatial data viewing and download, as well as the development of a business strategy and implementation plan to maintain the long-term viability of the project.

Real Results in the Real World

Recognizing the importance of biotechnology operations in tomorrow’s chemical industry, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association contracted Silvacom to assess the potential biomass availability within a 50 km, 100 km and 150 km range surrounding the Heartland region. Much of the data was derived using BRIMS.

Currently BRIMS is helping encourage investment in the Alberta bio-industrial sector by:

  • Providing real numbers;
  • Reducing the uncertainty of supply;
  • Providing a framework to share data;
  • Providing tools for scenario analysis; and
  • Facilitating collaboration between sectors.

Into The Future

The overall vision for BRIMS is to create a world-class, publicly available data and information management system where buyers and sellers collaborate and develop opportunities using online tools to support investment, guide policy development and foster further analysis to advance the bio-economy in Alberta. BRIMS will continue to gain more data and functionality into the future in several upcoming phases that are currently being planned.

For more information on the Bio-Resource Information Management System (BRIMS) please visit:


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