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Fanshawe receives $2M to establish bioeconomy research hub


June 20, 2019
By Fanshawe College

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Fanshawe has received nearly $2 million over five years from the Government of Canada to establish a research hub focused on the agri-food industry.

On June 13, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced funding of over $73 million through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program and the College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF). This investment will help 90 recipients at colleges, cégeps and polytechnics across the country partner directly with local employers to facilitate commercialization and transform the results of research and development into new technologies to help businesses expand and grow. It also provides specialized equipment to help companies develop local solutions to pressing issues in their regions.

With this funding, Fanshawe will establish the Centre for Bioeconomy within the recently opened Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation in Biotechnology (CARIB). While federal and provincial policy looks to grow the agri-food production sector, producers face barriers to innovation that hamper growth, such as delayed technology adoption and insufficient support for product development and commercialization.

Fanshawe’s Centre for Bioeconomy will help to address these barriers. The Centre will focus on plant and soil health, food innovation and turning agri-food waste into bioproducts. Fanshawe’s facilities, equipment and expertise will help expedite product development and commercialization, improve knowledge diffusion and technology adoption through its emphasis on collaborative and networked approaches to research and innovation.

“The Centre will help companies in the agrifood and agritech sectors become more competitive in a rapidly evolving industry, helping them create new products and improve existing product lines,” said Colin Yates, chair for Fanshawe’s Centre for Research and Innovation.

“Our faculty and students are excited to continue supporting companies within the agri-food sector through engagement with our expert biologists and chemists in the newly completed CARIB lab,” said Lindsay Engel, associate dean at Fanshawe’s School of Applied Science and Technology. “This new funding is in line with the College’s previous investments within the space, as well as its strategic mandate to support the agri-food sector.”