Vineland, ON – The federal and Ontario governments have made the first steps to create a vital hub for horticultural science and innovation in Vineland by making it a model for research facilities elsewhere in the province and the country.
Ontario is providing $12.5 million to the Vineland Research and Innovations Centre. The federal government is making a financial and in-kind commitment valued at $15.5 million over the next five years towards research projects that support the mission of this new centre at Vineland.
Several industry associations, including Flowers Canada (Ontario) and the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, have already committed funding to the project. The government investments follow recommendations from the Vineland Renaissance Advisory Panel, which submitted its report to the Ontario government in January. One of the key recommendations was that public-private partnerships would leverage greater investment in the initiative. Both governments have committed to working with industry to bolster ongoing support for the centre.
The Vineland Research Station was first created in 1906, when a local citizen donated the property to the province to create a centre of excellence in horticultural research. Ontario’s fruit and grape and wine industries have reaped the benefits of the work conducted there, which included plant breeding and the introduction of new varieties, production techniques and post-harvest technologies.
As a next step, both governments will explore additional means to support the activities of the new centre where both governments can optimize their investments in land, facilities and ongoing support for horticultural research.
“This is a tremendous step forward for creating a modern centre of excellence and innovation that will bring benefits not only to the Niagara region but throughout Ontario and Canada,” says Donald Ziraldo, co-founder of Inniskillin Wines, and chair of the advisory panel.