Today, Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Agriculture announced combined multi-year funding of $3.2 million to the Global Institute for Food Security's (GIFS) new engineering biology centre at the University of Saskatchewan.
This new centre will help attract investments and companies to the province's agriculture and food sectors, reducing capital needed to set up and operate businesses looking to deliver research, development and production on a large-scale.
"As we celebrate Global Biotech Week, we are happy to shine a spotlight on the agri-food sector with this investment," Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Jeremy Harrison said. "The research and development sector in Saskatchewan is growing exponentially, getting global recognition for having top-notch research facilities focused on solving long-term, sustainable opportunities in food production."
"This investment places Saskatchewan at the forefront of engineering biology and builds on Saskatchewan's world-class research hub in Saskatoon," Agriculture Minister David Marit said. "Work at the centre will ensure our producers have access to crop varieties adapted to our climate and will develop new ways to add value to the crop and livestock products we produce."
Innovation Saskatchewan is providing $2 million in funding through its Innovation Science Fund. The Ministry of Agriculture's $1.2 million in funding is provided under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors. This commitment includes $2 billion for programs cost-shared by the federal (60 per cent) and provincial/territorial (40 per cent) governments that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories. As a result of this government funding, GIFS will also receive additional matching funds through the Canada Foundation for Innovation - Innovation Fund.
"Projects funded through the Innovation Fund help research and development organizations like ours remain at the forefront of exploration and of delivering innovative solutions that generate economic growth, contribute to environmental sustainability and provide workforce training and development opportunities for economic impact," GIFS Executive Director and CEO Dr. Steven Webb said. "We are grateful for the province's support, as with all these funds, we will be able to harness the power of biology to potentially transform the foods that we eat, all while generating economic activity for the province."
Innovation Saskatchewan has been managing the Innovation Science Fund (ISF) since 2015, leveraging federal research funding for Saskatchewan by ensuring that institutions can effectively compete in national research funding competitions. The ISF promotes economic growth through innovation and research, improving the province's ability to attract and retain high quality scientists and researchers.