Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 06, 2009 13:16 ET

Government of Canada Makes Significant Investment in Alberta-Based Research Network

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 6, 2009) - The Government of Canada is investing in research that will boost the economy and help Canadian farmers harness new market opportunities in the biofuels sector. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and MP Rick Casson (Lethbridge) today announced a $15.5 million investment in the Canadian Triticale Biorefinery Initiative (CTBI) research network.

"Since day one this Government has focussed on helping Canadian agriculture thrive at the farm gate," said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This network will generate economic growth at home and help position Canada as a leader in triticale production research abroad."

Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye that can be used to produce a more valuable and renewable source of ethanol feedstock which will be grown and supplied by Canadian farmers. The network will also find new ways of developing triticale plants for its biomaterials, which can be used in the Canadian manufacturing industry.

"In a time of economic instability, this Government is acting to bring new market opportunities to Canadian farmers," said Mr. Casson. "I am proud to be part of a Government that supports projects aimed to boost the bottom line for Canadian farmers, increase revenue for farmers, and bring high quality jobs to rural Canada."

Led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the network currently includes 30 projects involving more than 90 scientists from the Alberta Research Council, Carleton University, Centre de recherche sur les grains, Concordia University, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge and GreenField Ethanol.

"The Alberta government is committed to our agriculture industry's long term success," said George Groeneveld, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister. "Our triticale work is helping to diversify and pursue non-traditional markets while advancing technologies for other crops."

Funding for this project is being provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP), a federal program that integrates Canada's talent from universities, industry and government to stimulate creativity, leverage investments, reduce costs and accelerate commercialization of bioproducts and bioprocesses to create new opportunities and long-term stability for Canadian farm families.

For additional information about ABIP, please visit



The CTBI network will develop new ways of making triticale plants a more valuable and renewable source of ethanol feedstock. The network will also find new ways of developing triticale plants for its biomaterials, which can be used in the Canadian manufacturing industry.

The network's objective is to generate rapid economic growth in its respective industries, increase revenue for farmers, bring high quality jobs to rural Canada and help position Canada as an international leader in triticale production research.


The Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP) is designed to promote research, development, technology transfer and the commercialization of agricultural bioproducts, including biofuels, in Canada.

The program will benefit farmers by generating new agricultural knowledge and technology and facilitating its transfer to those that can commercialize these innovations for the benefit of farmers and others in Canada's bioeconomy.

The program supports the establishment, development and operation of bioproducts research networks that focus on:

- Feedstock production through the development of crop platforms and cropping systems suitable for conversion to bioproducts;

- Developing effective and efficient technologies for biomass conversion; and

- Product diversification through technologies relevant to production of bioproducts (e.g. industrial chemicals, biomaterials and health products).

For additional information about the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP) and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs please visit

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary