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$22M funding supports 233 agricultural research projects


Ottawa, ON – A total of $22.1 million has been awarded to 233 research projects by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Projects funded for 2007-2008 include research on:

– adapting crop production to climate change;

– biodiesel use in agricultural equipment;

– the safety and efficacy of natural products derived from plants to improve human wellness;

– current and emerging food allergens to allow food producers and processors to control them in foods;

– sustainable production of high-quality wine; and

– developing biopesticides for control of insect pests, weeds, and plant diseases.

Last May, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) unveiled its Science and Innovation Strategy which identified seven national goals and priorities. The department realigned its research efforts and resources by submitting research project proposals to external evaluation by the scientific community prior to allocating funds.

Project proposals were submitted to four external review panels focused on plant sciences, animal sciences, environment and ecology and food sciences. The panels were composed of 38 expert scientists from organizations outside AAFC, who used preliminary evaluations from 330 external experts. Each proposal was evaluated against specific selection criteria including, assuring the best possible investment of public funds, ensuring scientific excellence, and providing international-calibre science in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

During this process, scientists were encouraged to use integrated, multi-disciplinary research projects that involved more than one scientist and included research coordination and collaboration with other government departments and agencies, academia and/or industry.