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$3M funding supports research into new types of oilseed


Thetford Mines, QC – A network that will support research into new types of oilseed, the Industrial Oil Seed Network (IOSN), has received funding of $3 million from the federal government under the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP).

The network will enable a group of experts to work together and exchange ideas and expertise in oilseed biology. Out of the $3 million, Linnaeus Plant Sciences in Vancouver will receive $2.556 million to administer the network and fund non-government research activities.

The network will develop a new type of oilseed that will be used solely for the production of petroleum substitutes, in a variety of applications, such as fuel additives for use in heavy equipment and marine towing operations; bio-based hydraulic fluids; and bio-based oils in the construction industry, civic bus transportation, and lobster fishing.

“Oilseed crops have the potential to provide bio-based alternatives to a variety of petroleum products,” said Jack Grushcow, president of Linnaeus Plant Sciences and the project lead for the ABIP Industrial Oil Seed Network. “The Industrial Oil Seed Network will transition non-food Canadian oilseeds crops from a low value commodity to a high value industrial feed stock that can substitute for petroleum in a variety of applications.”

From this funding, a Thetford Mines-located company, Oleotek, will receive a total of $235,000 as one of the participants in the network.

A key part of the IOSN’s activities is helping capture value for the farm community. In addition to increasing the value of oilseed, several other economic development opportunities for the rural economy will be explored. These include blending, packaging and distribution business opportunities that will come from the increased usage of bio-based products.