Funded Projects

The Seeding Food Innovation program was created to catalyze the development of trans-disciplinary research that address sustainable food and health challenges that will both impact Canadians and are of global concern. The program provides short-term grants of up to $250,000 as seed funding for novel, translational research projects.


Changing-climate resilient and multiple disease resistant cisgenic potato cultivars through genome editing

Grantees: Prof. Ajjamada Kushalappa, Dr. Maher Alsahlany and Mr. Andre Gagnon Description: The farm gate value of Canadian potato production is about one billion dollars per year; for USA its much more. Potato diseases, such as late/early blights, scab and wilt, annually cause yield losses of about 15%, and upto 80% under favorable weather; changing climate. In addition, some pathogens reduce food quality by contaminating tubers with mycotoxins and enzymes. Genetic improvement of cultivars is the best mitigation strategy but it is challenging due to sexual incompatibility in potato. The Kushalappa-lab has identified several R genes » More Info

Intelligent Orchards: Redefining the Production and Management of Tree Fruits

Grantees: John Cline, Andrew Gadsden, Mohammad Biglarbegian, Amanda Green, Haipeng Xie and Andres Hurtado Description: We live in a time with rising costs of production, less available and increased labour costs to harvest our agricultural crops, competition for limited arable land, and a changing climate. Global trade issues and food insecurity cause us to reflect on how Canadians will feed themselves as well as other countries that depend on our food. Fostering innovative tools for farmers to remain economically and environmentally sustainable is key to prevent disruptions in our food system and to maintain food sovereignty. » More Info

2020 Bee Vectoring-An Innovative Collaboration to Ecologically Intensify Bio-control in Strawberry Production

Grantees: Ms. Dorothy Susan Chan, Prof. Peter Kevan, Dr. Katarina Jordan, Mr. Jim Chaput, Mr. Wayne Adams, Mr. Kevin Schooley, Dr. Sarah Hargreaves, Ms. Anne Hayes and Mr. Mike Dimmock Description: In flowering crops like strawberry, growers are in the unenviable position of having to control pests with chemical pesticides that may harm the bees they depend upon for pollination. To protect bees, respond to consumer demand for pesticide-free food, and reduce pest resistance, strawberry growers are increasingly looking for alternatives to pesticides such as bio-control agents. However, bio-control agents do not act as quickly as chemical pesticides, are costly, and must be applied repeatedly. What is gained in pesticide reduction maybe lost in » More Info

Effector-Enabled Mining of Wild Plants for Novel Crop Immunodiversity

Grantees: Prof. David Guttman, Prof. Darrell Desveaux, Dr. Gopal Subramaniam and Mr. Travis Banks. Description: Background: Pathogens are constantly challenging our agricultural system. Farmers know that crop pathogens will destroy a significant proportion of their product before it makes it to consumers. These loses increase costs to producers and consumers, exacerbating socioeconomic pressures, and lead to significant food security challenges. To make matters worse, these stresses are expected to dramatically increase due to global climate change and human population growth. Breeding for resistance is the most effective way to control crop pathogens. » More Info

Intensifying Manomin (Zizania palustris) Growth in Environments Altered by Colonial Settlement in Ways that are Responsive to Anishinaabe Knowledge and Values

Grantees: Dr. Andrea Bradford, Dr. Brittany Luby, Dr. Ralph Martin, Dr. Barry Warner, Chief Lorraine Cobiness, Mr. Barry Henry, Mr. Allan Luby, Ms. Samantha Mehltretter, Ms. Margaret Lehman and Mr. Joe Barnes. Description: The Anishinaabe people and others associate a drastic decline in manomin growing in the bays along the Upper Winnipeg River with changes in land use, altered water levels due to the construction and operation of hydropower dams, and the introduction of pollutants and invasive species after World War II. This two-year project investigates the activities and conditions affecting manomin productivity in partnership with Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation. The Manomin Research Project will develop strategies to restore wetlands that support » More Info

NextGen Amplified Sustainable Agriculture (NASA). It's About Space

Grantees: Dr. Rupp Carriveau, Dr. David S-K Ting, Dr. Jill Urbanic, Dr. Xiuming Hao, Mr. James Dyck, Ms. Niki Bennett, Mr. Lucas Semple, Mr. Stephen Fields, Dr. Tom Grochmal, Dr. Matt Davison and Dr. Lindsay Miller Description: By 2050 some forecasts show global food demand increasing by 60%. To mitigate significant risks of global malnutrition, hunger, and conflict; food production needs to become more efficient and sustainable. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) can produce higher yields at reduced spatial and environmental footprints. This control improves management of key elements like water, nutrients, and nutritional outcomes. These advantages come with a cost however; energy is among the greatest of these. Modern greenhouses and » More Info

A win/win approach to bioremediation of food-grade waste-streams: conversion to high-value foodstuffs through algal cultivation

Grantees: Prof. Hugh MacIntyre, Dr. Suzanne Budge, Dr. Patrick McGinn and Dr. Jenna Ritter Description: Phytoplankton are excellent sources of nutrition, particularly omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), protein, and antioxidant carotenoids. They are used worldwide for human dietary supplements and aquaculture feeds but production is limited by the energetic demands of cultivation. For many types of phytoplankton, these costs can be reduced significantly by supplying energy in the form of organic carbon. These forms are mixotrophic, meaning that they combine photosynthesis (harvesting light energy) with heterotrophy » More Info

Sustainable Water Management and Reduced Food Waste in the Fresh Produce Chain using Advanced Oxidative Process based Treatments

Grantees: Dr. Keith Warriner, Dr Ryan Prosser, Dr Tatiana Koutchma, Mark VanderVeen and Paul Moyer Description: Project description: This project will develop two Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) based technologies to reduce the levels of microbes and pesticides on fresh produce. The AOP process is based on the generation of highly reactive free-radicals with the power to inactivate microbes, degrade pesticides and remove constituents in water that contribute to pollutants. A traditional AOP process uses hydrogen peroxide as the source of these radicals which although effective, is costly, challenging to control and has a relatively low efficiency. » More Info


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