Genomics working for the economy and the environment

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Wednesday October 15, 2014

Genomics working for the economy and the environment

Two new Québec projects in genomic research selected under the Genomics Application Partnership Program (GAPP), a Canadian competition organized by Genome Canada. GAPP was created to encourage partnerships between university researchers and industry users.

"What is most encouraging and promising is the way this program aligns university research with industry needs, generating momentum toward innovation.”, stated Marc LePage.

The two selected projects are:

Elanco and Concordia University: A major international partnership
Professor Adrian Tsang of Concordia University has forged a partnership with Elanco, a leading U.S.-based animal health company. His project is aiming to improve pork and poultry feed with a next-generation enzyme supplement. In Canada alone, the pork and poultry industries spend 70% of their production costs on animal feed. Unfortunately, nearly one-quarter of the feed goes to waste since the animals do not have the enzymes to digest it properly. The products to come out of this project should significantly improve feed efficiency, leading to higher profit margins for producers. “For us, this project is about much more than just numbers. It will, of course, improve productivity, but more importantly, we believe that innovation in animal productivity is a vital and sustainable solution to feeding the world’s growing population,” explains Allan Boonstra, Director at Elanco Canada.

To learn more on this project


Agropur and Université Laval: Improving the prosperity of the Québec cheese industry

The second project, which focuses on supporting the cheese industry, is spearheaded by Professor Steve Labrie of Université Laval in partnership with Agropur, the largest dairy cooperative in Canada and one of the leading dairy processors in North America. Cheesemaking is a highly complex operation and a less-than-optimal ripening process compromises shelf life, causes product returns and leads to significant production delays, which all have a negative impact on profitability.

To address these problems, Agropur will use genomics to market competitive products in greater quantities and ensure better revenues for the members of the cooperative. “With this research program, we will be able to develop a new genetic tool very rapidly to help us better control production, limit losses and make high quality cheeses with a longer shelf life and fewer returns,” Michel Pouliot, Vice-President, Research and Development at Agropur, explains.

To learn more on this project


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