Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 24, 2006 14:11 ET

AAFC: New Biotron Facility to Launch Agriculture Research Into the Future

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2006) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph are collaborating to establish the Biotron, a state-of-the-art research facility. The Biotron will support research into the impact of climate change and other environmental stressors on plants, insects, and micro-organisms, as well as research focussing on industrial bioproduct development.

Due to open in late 2007, the Biotron will allow researchers to construct entire mini-ecosystems to study complex interactions that occur between biological organisms in air, soil and water. The Biotron and AAFC's recently constructed growth chambers at the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre (SCPFRC) in London, will be jointly governed by a research advisory board comprised of representatives from the universities, industry partners and government.

"The Biotron is a great example of the forward-looking efforts of Canada's New Government to advance agriculture science and innovation in ways that go beyond cash contributions to projects," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "Working together with universities and sharing resources to build our individual and collective capacity benefits us all."

AAFC has provided in-kind contributions to the project with the construction of the growth chambers at the SCPFRC, and has a well-established working relationship with Western through cooperative research projects, dating back to 1951 when the Department first established a research centre at the university's campus.

"This collaboration represents a great achievement in university-government collaborative research," said Norm Huner, the Biotron's Scientific Director and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Stress Biology at Western. "Research conducted at the Biotron will lead to better productivity and protection of Canadian agriculture in response to environmental conditions."

"The Biotron facilities provide an excellent opportunity for young scholars and researchers to interact and to address many challenging problems such as the effects of climate change on plants," noted Bernard Grodzinski, Biotron Plant Productivity Director at Guelph.

This initiative supports one of the key goals set out in AAFC's new Science and Innovation Strategy, Partnering for Impact, through increased collaboration with other research partners in universities, government and the private sector.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Minister Strahl's office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary