Canadian Olympic bobsleigh and luge athletes and their international competitors at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing will be sliding on a track constructed from concrete reinforced with a unique, natural additive invented in Alberta.

The concrete additive is manufactured from industrial hemp, a fibre known for its strength and durability, and developed by Calgary company Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp. Funding from Alberta Bio Future, Alberta Innovates' Bioindustrial Innovation program, helped the company take its idea from the lab and develop it into a commercially successful industrial bioproduct.

NForce-Fiber demonstrated its high performance in numerous applications requiring concrete with superior integrity and surface quality. It was specified for this project by an international team of engineering and construction experts, says Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp.

The company was already having some success in the marketplace but the Beijing contract has been the icing on the cake.

"I thought we'd be successful, but there aren't a lot of concrete projects like a bobsled track," Vice President Dr. Stephen Christensen told the Calgary Herald in an interview. "We're getting some international acknowledgment....We're filling out orders left and right."

It's just what this AI funding program was designed to do - encourage the use of sustainable, renewable Alberta biomass from the agriculture and forest sectors to create new, value-added products for Alberta.

The program is aimed at accelerating growth of our province's bioindustrial sector. Not only does this contribute to economic diversification. Many bio-based products - including this one - have the added benefit of helping to lower the carbon footprint.