The Ontario government is investing $7.2 million in the newly opened Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to help drive innovative new research.
Vineland’s Greenhouse Technology Complex features new technologies to support and modernize horticulture, including robotics and automation, and showcases state-of-the-art lighting and thermal systems. Research is expected to focus on plant breeding, and pest and disease control.
According to an Ontario government press release, this $7.2-million investment will help develop profitable crops that are more resilient to Ontario’s climate, as well as new products and varieties of vegetables, fruits, wine and flowering plants that reflect consumers’ changing preferences. The greenhouse will also help improve plant and vegetable production systems by adapting best practices to help keep production costs low.
“By investing in projects like Vineland’s Greenhouse Technology Centre, our government is creating the foundation for constant innovation and collaboration in Ontario’s growing-agri-food sector. This facility will allow researchers, industry partners and government to come together and help build Ontario’s agri-food research capabilities, develop new products, expand economic opportunities and create jobs for the people of Ontario,” says Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The Vineland greenhouse facility is expected to expedite the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of innovative research. This work will help the Ontario greenhouse sector to grow export and domestic consumption of horticultural products and to market innovative new technologies to other jurisdictions. According to the press release, this in turn should add new, high-value jobs that will help expand economic development in Ontario.
“While the bricks and mortar footprint of this project is commendable, what sets it apart is the unique opportunity it will provide for problem solving, collaboration with our ever-widening range of partners and the commercialization of great science,” says Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.