Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 11, 2006 08:38 ET

Federal Agriculture Researchers Join NRC and UPEI in Unique Bioresources Research

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 11, 2006) - Canada's new government today announced $2 million in funding as a capital contribution toward the development of the National Research Council Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH) on the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) campus.

Within the facility, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists and technicians will collaborate with NRC and UPEI scientists to identify and refine naturally occurring compounds from plant, animal and marine life that can benefit human and animal health.

"Canada's new government is committed to supporting research that benefits health and wellness and generate new opportunities for our agriculture and agri-food sector," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "This is an exciting collaboration in a market of enormous potential."

Under the agreement, up to 14 AAFC employees will be located in the new facility by 2009. The research will increase Canada's ability to produce food and other products that benefit the nutrition and health of humans and animals. The AAFC team will contribute to the identification of bioactive molecules and will help develop sustainable production systems for these new products that will be of higher value.

"With Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on board, research will span the full continuum, from discovery to commercialization," said National Research Council President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. "It will start with the discovery and extraction of important bioactive compounds found in renewable resources, continue with research into the role they play in human and animal health, and on to the sustainable production of new crops and commercialization of functional foods and nutraceuticals."

"Each institution in this partnership brings unique strengths and expertise," said University of Prince Edward Island President Wade MacLauchlan. "With this pioneering collaboration we will create a new capacity for Canada to discover and deliver health benefits from natural products."

The market for nutraceuticals and functional foods is being driven by a growing consumer understanding of the links between nutrition and health and advances in natural health treatments.

The Government of Canada and the UPEI are part of a growing biotechnology community in Prince Edward Island that includes, among others, the Prince Edward Island Food Technology Centre, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Centre for Animal and Plant Health and 20 private biotechnology companies with estimated annual revenues of $60 million.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    NRC Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Sarah Mangione
    Minister Strahl's office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary
    University of Prince Edward Island
    Anne McCallum
    Media and Communications Officer