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Genome Prairie Winner of 2016 JEC Innovation Award in Atlanta

April 20, 2016

Manitoba, Canada – JEC Group, the world’s largest organization exclusively dedicated to the composites industry, has announced that Genome Prairie is the winner of its 2016 JEC Americas Innovation Award for Biocomposites which will be presented on May 4, 2016 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

“We are thrilled and honoured to receive this prestigious award from the JEC Group, and proud that the outcomes of our projects are receiving global recognition for their advancement of biocomposite development and commercialization within the automotive industry,” said Dr. Simon Potter, Director of Operations for Genome Prairie.

The project awarded is a combination of two successful Genome Prairie-led projects, the Total Utilization Flax GENomics (TUFGEN) project and the Fibre Composite and Biomatrix Genomics (FiCoGEN) project. The TUFGEN project increased the benefits and versatility of flax by developing genomics-based tools for crop-breeding, whereas the FiCoGEN project will utilize improved flax fibres to create an innovative composite material for commercial use.  The biocomposite material is produced from flax varieties with the best fibre characteristics for use in advanced composite materials.  The performance of these new composites will be used to inform flax breeding programs for improved fibre quality to deliver fully renewable and innovative biocomposite materials that can revolutionize the automotive industry.

The FiCoGEN project is a partnership with the University of Manitoba, SCION (New Zealand) and the University of British Columbia and is using semi-structural components of a prototype bio-vehicle developed with the Composites Innovation Centre Manitoba Inc. and Westward Industries Ltd. as proof-of-concept of the production of renewable biocomposites.

“Genomics-advanced biocomposites is pioneering the composites and automotive industry in terms of both manufacturing and innovation,” said Dr. Reno Pontarollo, President and CEO of Genome Prairie. “With the combined expertise of our partners, the support of Genome Canada, the Province of Manitoba and our stakeholders, our work in this project will show how genomics can become a key player in manufacturing of sustainable industrial materials.”

This year’s awards program will celebrate winners in categories such as Design, Testing, Biocomposites, Aeronautics, Transportation, Automotive, E-Mobility, Process and Sports & Leisure.

About JEC Group

The JEC Company was created in December 1996 as a subsidiary of CPC, The Center for Promotion of Composites, a non-profit association. Its working Principle is the consistent reinvestment of all income into the development of new products and services for the benefit of all players in the worldwide composites community. For more information, visit

About Genome Prairie

Genome Prairie, a non-profit-organization, aligns partners and resources to develop and manage research projects addressing key regional priorities such as agriculture, human health, the environment, energy and mining. These efforts are playing a central role in building the reputation of Manitoba and Saskatchewan as a location of choice for innovation and commercialization. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Quyen Van

Communications Officer

Tel: (204) 269-0816

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