Vineland enables efforts to build agri-science research cluster
March 2, 2009 By Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
February 27, 2009, Vineland, Ont. – How does a science cluster work?
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre endeavors to answer that
question with its model for the future.
February 27, 2009, Vineland, Ont. – How does a science cluster work? Vineland Research and Innovation Centre endeavors to answer that question with its model for the future.
“Vineland will be the engine driving the horticulture science cluster in Canada, industry will steer the direction and government will provide the fuel” said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. “And as we execute on this vision, we are fortunate for the advice we receive from our partners in the horticulture industry associations, our board of industry leaders and our science advisory panel, whose members are located around the globe.”
What is a cluster? A cluster is a place for people to interact and for industry and science to work towards common goals and outcomes. In Canada that “place” is virtual. Facilitated by Vineland, scientists from across the country will work in concert under a single industry strategy to develop new products, drive down costs and increase profitability and competitiveness of the horticulture industry. The cluster will create innovation pipelines that will support the various subsectors under the cluster umbrella. Industry will be embedded in the management and accountability structure of the cluster and will have clear line of sight so it can see its investments through to a successful outcome.
To kick-start the process, Vineland is working with industry to identify research priorities that will create growth in the business of horticulture and is partnering with the research community across Canada to deliver on those priorities. Vineland will be targeting the federal government’s soon-to-be-announced Growing Forward program to support the industry focused research efforts that will make up the cluster’s activities.
“Vineland’s research leadership team will support the cluster," Dr. Brandle adds. "With two international-calibre research chairs already in place and a third arriving in July, Vineland has built its research leadership capacity that, along with their respective teams, can provide multi-disciplinary scientific resources, create networks, leverage synergies and respond to real market opportunities for the Canadian horticulture industry.”
Vineland’s research chairs oversee three broad scientific disciplines:
- Sensory and Consumer Sciences,
- Molecular Breeding and Genetics, and
- Horticulture Production Systems.
Each research chair will work collaboratively with academia, industry and government to establish research programs that meet the highest international standards of excellence.
The national cluster will leverage Ontario’s already considerable $25 million investment in Vineland, bringing newly renovated lab facilities, new researchers and equipment, an experienced research administration team and commercialization skills into the mix. Centralizing research administration and decentralizing the science to take advantage of research infrastructure across the country will ensure maximum impact.
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