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Genome Prairie Announces $25.7M Awarded for Agriculture Climate-Smart Genomic Projects in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Today's announcement by the Government of Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Genome Canada is the single largest genomics funding award in Manitoba and Saskatchewan history.

SASKATOON, SK – WINNIPEG, MB: Genome Prairie announced today that in collaboration with research and industry partners, Genome Canada has approved four new large-scale genomics projects totaling just over $25.7M. The projects result from successful bids in response to a Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Production pan-Canadian initiative announced by Genome Canada in 2022 in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).
The vast majority of the genomics research undertaken by each project will be in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The four new genomics projects relate directly to finding innovative ways to enhance food production in a warming climate while mitigating carbon emissions.
The new projects will each leverage genomic-based tools and sequencing strategies, including:
  • The enhancement of bio-inoculants for improving crop efficiency and resiliency (project research will be done at The University of Manitoba and Queen’s University);
  • Strategies to improve the well-being of prairie grasslands to reduce atmospheric carbon levels (University of Saskatchewan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada);
  • Developing ways and means of reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers, a major contributor to carbon emissions in agricultural food production (University of Saskatchewan); and,
  • The development of a low-carbon footprint field pea (University of Calgary, National Research Council).
Each project will be led by Genome Prairie, except the field pea project, which will be co-led with Genome Alberta.



“Genome Prairie is thrilled to have successfully guided these large-scale genomics projects to full funding approval. Each project will advance the development of food systems to benefit food producers while taking Canadian agriculture as a major step in reducing carbon emissions. These projects will also greatly benefit our academic and research partners in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan while having significant economic impacts, including more jobs and greater investment in our region’s bioeconomy. This announcement marks the most significant round of funded projects in the history of Genome Prairie. It is a shining example of how genomics is a major part of the bioscience economy in western Canada.”
  • Mike Cey, President and CEO, Genome Prairie.


“I am delighted that these projects received full funding support. These new genomics projects represent nearly a year of hard work by Genome Prairie and each research team in successfully navigating a rigorous review process. I believe that these projects will significantly enhance how we grow food in Canada while working towards reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint. I thank Genome Canada, ISED and the numerous funding partners for their generous support.
  • Dr Lester Young, Chief Scientific Officer, Genome Prairie.


“Genomics is driving innovation across many strategic economic sectors in Canada, from agriculture and energy to fisheries and forestry. The Government of Canada is proud to support these Interdisciplinary Challenge Teams, which are building resilience in Canada’s food production systems, creating more secure and sustainable food for Canadians and people around the world.”
  • The Honourable Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board.

Genomics technologies have produced some of the most impressive scientific breakthroughs of the past two decades, and it just keeps going thanks to the leadership of our researchers. Our government is proud to support the nine teams announced today, as they are another great example of Canada’s role as a world leader in this field. Their expertise will help bring us forward in reducing the carbon footprint of Canada’s food production systems while continuing to develop innovation.”
  • François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).


“Genome Canada is proud to drive solutions to the climate crisis and Canada’s leadership on this major global challenge. By harnessing the power of genomics, and the strengths of diverse researchers, institutions, companies and communities, the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative will support vital transformation across one of the most important sectors for Canada’s economy, our health and wellbeing.”
  • Dr. Rob Anan, President and CEO, Genome Canada.
“Thank you to Genome Canada and the Government of Canada for this investment to strengthen the future of sustainable agriculture and Canada’s food system. The University of Manitoba is proud to lead this innovative research using microbes on crops to minimize reliance on conventional fertilizers, which are environmentally unfriendly. The results of this research will help Canadian farmers adapt to climate change while protecting food security and the environment for generations to come.”
  • Dr. Mario Pinto, Vice President (Research and International) at the University of Maniotba.
“The University of Saskatchewan is working on solutions that will revolutionize the way we cultivate and produce food for a growing world. This investment from Genome Canada will empower our researchers to explore new frontiers and develop innovative solutions that will shape agriculture and food security for future generations.”
  • Baljit Singh, Vice-President Research, University of Saskatchewan. 
“With imported commercial fertilizers producing significant GHG emissions, we must find new ways to promote crop nutrition while still protecting our food systems. Thanks to support from Genome Canada, the federal government, and partners, Queen’s researchers, in partnership with the University of Manitoba, are developing a customized, home-grown solution using innovations in microbial products. Working closely with the farming community on implementation, this research could transform sustainable agriculture and play a key role in protecting our soil, our crops, and the environment for future generations.”
  • Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal Research, Queen’s University.



  • Each of the four large-scale projects is projected to take three years to complete (estimated completion by fall 2026).
  • The four new projects mark the single largest awarded round of new projects for Genome Prairie since its establishment in 2001.
  • The economic impact of the combined value of the projects is expected to be significant. A recently updated study conducted by MNP in 2017 shows approximately $5 in economic activity for every $1 invested. These large-scale projects also create jobs, advance industry and advance greater national and international investments in the regional bioeconomy.
  • According to a study by Precedence Research, the global genomics market was valued at $28.4B in 2022 and is expected to grow to $99B by 2023.
For more information about the Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Systems genomics funding announcement, to get more information about any or all of the mentioned projects, or to request a direct interview, please contact the Genome Prairie communications office:

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