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.


New algal bioreactor design for clean food production with inland aquaculture

Grantees: Dr. Andreas Hyland, Dr. Wael Ahmed Description: With increasing demand for fish and seafood products globally, inland aquaculture is becoming an important source of global food production. This is primarily because food can be produced in proximity to large and densely populated areas, cutting down on transportation costs and emissions. It also allows the use of a more diverse set of species as the risk of local species introductions is significantly reduced. Finally, inland aquaculture is less prone to natural disasters (hurricanes, typhoons, blooms, water contamination etc.). We are developing a photo-bioreactor for the removal of nutrients from recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), making inland seafood production more sustainable and cost effective. » More Info

Optimization of an environmentally friendly process for shrimp chitin extraction

Grantees: Dr. Deepika Dave, Ms. Julia Pohling, Ms. Sheila Trenholm, Mr. Wade Murphy, Mr. Simon Jarding, Dr. Kelly Hawboldt, Dr. Lordwin Jeyakumar Description: Up to 70% of the shellfish landed in Newfoundland and Labrador every year is discarded as waste. This ‘waste’ contains several valuable compounds including Chitin in the shrimp shells. Chitin and its derivative Chitosan are a highly valuable natural polymers with many applications in the medical and nutraceutical fields as well as in wastewater treatment » More Info

Development of Sustainable Biopesticides Based on Phytochemicals Extracted from Agri-Food Waste

Grantees: Dr. Rob Nicol, Dr. Simon Lachance, Dr. Ian Scott, Dr. Shawn Wettig, Dr. Richard Vyn, Cara McCreary, Norm Hansen, Dr. Timothy Wilson, The Middlesex London Food Policy Council (MLFPC) Description: Billions of tonnes of agri-food waste are generated around the world annually, representing an untapped resource for the development of new biofuels and bioproducts. In Ontario, most of the agricultural waste is in the form of crop residue, the leftover part of the crop that is not harvested, as well as waste from food processing, such as the skins and seeds produced during the preparation of canned or frozen vegetables. All of these wastes contain naturally occurring bioactive chemicals and interest in using these natural chemicals for agricultural, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications continues to grow. » More Info

Altering Plant Microbiomes for Flavour and Nutrition

Grantees: Dr. Roberta Fulthorpe, Dr. Apollinaire Tsopmo, Mr. Brandon Hebor, Dr. Enilson Saccol de Sá, Dr. Patricia Dörr de Quadros Description: The goal of this project is to use naturally-occurring bacteria to improve the flavour and nutritional properties of food grown in hydroponic and aquaponics systems. This study will investigate ability of plant associated bacteria to alter the metabolic profile of select vegetables and leafy greens. » More Info

Using beneficial microbes to mitigate the effects of climate change on plant nutrition, resistance to insects, and drought

Grantees: Dr. Cara Haney, Dr. Juli Carrillo, Dr. Yi Song, Dr. Quentin Geissmann Description: Climate change has major present-day and anticipated consequences for Canadian and global food security. Increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can lead to decreased plant nutritional quality: more fixed carbon and sugar means that plants have less protein and micronutrients per gram. Additionally, increased CO2 levels can exacerbate insect pests on crops because elevated CO2 interferes with plant signalling and suppresses plants' ability to respond to stressors. » More Info

Enabling the next revolution in global food production through automatically labelled data sets and machine learning

Grantees: Dr. Christopher Bidinosti, Dr. Christopher Henry, Dr. Carl Gutwin, Dr. Ian Stavness, Dr. Rafael Otfinowski, Dr. Ed Cloutis, Dr. Jonathan Ziprick Description: We envision a future where it will be possible to lavish the same attention on individual plants in a large prairie crop farm as one might on those in a backyard garden. As camera sensors shrink in size, and self-driving vehicles continue to improve, such an idea is no longer the realm of science fiction. The remaining piece of the puzzle, however, is the need for a very large number of pre-identified images of crop plants and weeds with which to train a computer to recognize one from the other. Our research project is to develop the means to automatically generate and label such images and to make the resulting data sets openly available for use by Canadian researchers and companies. » More Info

Nanotechnology-based development of antimicrobial materials for food packaging and processing

Grantees: Dr. Hyo-Jick Choi, Dr. Byeong Hwa Jeon Description: Food safety is a top priority in the food industry and public health. Since cross-contamination during food processing and preparation sometimes leads to foodborne outbreaks, it is important to develop novel intervention methods to reduce contamination of foods. Cross-contamination is usually initiated with the attachment of pathogenic bacteria to the food-contacting surface of food processing equipment, and possibly packaging materials. For this, various methods have been explored at the laboratory level with some technical » More Info


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