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Funding announced for genomics research for Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector


The Ontario Regional Priorities Partnership Program (ON-RP3) is supporting Ontario-focused, industry-academic partnership projects that will positively impact Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

The eight successful ON-RP3 project teams were announced last week at the 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC). Preliminary research results were presented by one of the successful project teams, George Van der Merwe, University of Guelph, who is partnering on a project with Escarpment Laboratories.

“With this project, we will be able to give our brewery partners access to genomic and metabolomic information they can use to know ahead of time how to work with every yeast strain and the impact of different process variables like temperature on the flavour outcomes of their beer,” said Richard Preiss, co-founder/co-owner, Escarpment Laboratories. “This work may also lead to a better understanding of the complex genetics underlying yeast aroma production. This project will help Ontario businesses become leaders in the increasingly competitive craft brewing industry, driving enhanced creativity and improved consistency.”

The funding is supporting proof-of-concept stage projects that will deliver genomics/genomics-derived technologies, tools and processes to provide solutions to industry-identified challenges or opportunities within the sector. ON-RP3 will help industry take applied research to the implementation and commercialization stages. These solutions will be implemented by 2024.

In total, the Agricultural Adaptation Council and Ontario Genomics (through Genome Canada) are funding eight projects across Ontario through a $2 million investment. This investment is leveraging $975,000 in industry contributions, for a total of over $2.95 million to drive genomics-derived technologies, tools and processes to create more jobs and grow the Ontario economy.

“Genomics technology and innovation are absolutely crucial for the continued growth of Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector. By bringing industry and researchers together, these eight projects will create more jobs, keep Ontario competitive and provide amazing growth opportunities for Ontario’s farmers and our rural economy,” said Bettina Hamelin, president and CEO, Ontario Genomics.

This investment into agriculture and agri-food genomics research, coupled with the industry’s ongoing commitment to technology development and commercialization, is playing an important part in a changing Ontario economy. This funding will capitalize on Ontario’s broad agricultural production, its cutting-edge innovation and manufacturing capacity, its globally recognized research expertise, and its diverse and highly skilled workforce.



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