U of G Receives $1.2 Million to Advance Bioproduct Innovations

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The University of Guelph has received a $1.2-million investment from the government of Ontario to advance eco-friendly innovations such as bioproducts and waste reduction and recycling technologies.

The funding comes from the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance. Among the goals is strengthening the economy and boosting innovation in the agri-food sector by creating agriculture-based products and identifying diverse market opportunities in Ontario and globally.

“As Canada’s food university, the University of Guelph is committed to research that powers the agri-food sector into the future, using our discoveries to fuel unique and sustainable innovations with agricultural roots,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research). “With this OMAFRA support, University of Guelph researchers will enable Ontario’s businesses to create world-leading, renewable, agricultural-sourced products for Canadians and the world.”

Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, added:  “This research looks at new bioproducts, technologies, markets and policies to make the agri-food sector more sustainable and profitable. This will help create economic, environmental and energy opportunities for farmers, food processors, greenhouses and consumers while strengthening and diversifying our agri-food sector.”

Research projects include:

  • Developing biodegradable and/or compostable straws;
  • Using three-dimensional (3-D) printing to develop biomedical products such as prosthetics and automotive parts from agricultural residues and plastic waste;
  • Creating renewable biochemical products from poultry waste;
  • Identifying novel food uses for bean processing by-products;
  • Investigating renewable energy technologies from greenhouse vegetable waste; and
  • Assessing export barriers in the food processing industry.

A collaboration between U of G and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance funds University research in environmental sustainability, animal and plant health and production, and agri-food and bioproduct development.