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Strengthening innovation in Manitoba

July 5, 2021 — 

More than $3.7 million in new funding to two UM projects was announced today by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Western Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for  Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The two projects will support collaboration between academic and industry and strengthen innovation ecosystems in Western Canada.

“Strong regional economies are essential for Canada’s success and sustainability – this is why the Government of Canada is committed to investing in businesses across the West, said Joly. “Our government recognizes that collaboration between academia and industry is key to sector advancement, increased domestic and export sales, and the training of highly qualified personnel. We will support this collaboration and build back better a vibrant economy.”

“This is a clear demonstration of the Government of Canada prioritizing an important relationship between industry and universities,” said Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canada Water Agency). “The transfer of knowledge between academia and industry play a crucial role in the growth of regional ecosystems. Supporting the next generation of highly trained professionals helps Western Canada grow and compete,” said Duguid, MP for Winnipeg South.

The funding awarded to the two UM projects is through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program.

“We are excited to work with the many partners on these two new projects that will advance agricultural innovation and take research from lab to market, both providing experiential training opportunities for students and advancing industry innovation,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the UM. “I congratulate the two project team leads on their innovative approaches to advancing technology in Manitoba.”

The two projects are:

Digital Agriculture, receiving $2,499,565 to advance agricultural research and training capacity for students in collaboration with industry partners. This will be supported through the development and adoption of Digital Smart Farm technology, while maximizing knowledge transfer from academia to industry. This project also has funding from partners with interests in crop and soil management, sustainability and precision agriculture in Western Canada. The total project cost is $5,005,971. This project is under the leadership of Dr. Martin Scanlon, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.

Lab2Market, receiving $1,233,500 to develop and deliver the Lab2Market initiative in Manitoba to enhance research commercialization performance. This will increase technology transfer activities and expedite training of graduates, post-doctoral students, and researchers to help them commercialize their innovations efficiently. This project also has funding from MITACS, North Forge Technology Exchange, Ryerson University, Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Manitoba. The total project cost is $2,504,600. This project is under the leadership of Dr. Darren Fast, Director, Partnerships & Innovation.

These investments are expected to result in increased industry/academic partnerships, research and development expenditures, Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) trained, and Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) assisted.


Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.


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