In the 2008 Budget, the Ontario government announced an investment of $25 million to create a Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-economy (CRIBE). On May 21, 2008, the Minister of Research and Innovation appointed a task force to provide advice and recommendations on how Ontario might best proceed.

The task force included:

George Ross
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Research and Innovation Province of Ontario

Bill Mauro, MPP
Thunder Bay- Atikokan

Frederick F. Gilbert
President and Vice-Chancellor
Lakehead University

Patricia Lang
Confederation College

Ian de la Roche
President and CEO

Mayor Lynn Peterson
City of Thunder Bay

Harvey Yesno
President and CEO
Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

CRIBE is an important part of Ontario's strengthened economic infrastructure supporting growth in the bio-economy. In this context, CRIBE's activities would work in concert with other Ontario economic development such as the Next Generation of Jobs Fund and the Second Career program.

The task force envisioned that CRIBE would attract new companies, jobs, innovation and new prosperity to Northern Ontario by developing the next generation of bio-products, including environmental substitutes for use in Ontario's industries. CRIBE will focus on creating prosperity through research, development and commercialization of fibres, cellulose and other biochemical components - in other words, all parts of the tree and other material in the forests.

The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy Task Force Final Report was submitted to the Ontario government on December 5, 2008.

Following the task force recommendations, Michael Willick was engaged as the interim CEO of CRIBE and he established CRIBE as a not-for-profit corporation on March 27, 2009. Other key deliverables included implementing the preliminary recommendations of the task force's final report, including, the development of an initial business plan.