Brock University is one of the newest members of a research network that partners with industry in southern Ontario to advance the greenhouse sector and related technologies.
The Niagara College-led Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN) announced Thursday, May 4 that Brock and the University of Windsor have joined the consortium, which collaborates with small- and medium-sized businesses to develop, adopt and implement a range of technologies.
The network links greenhouse and related technology businesses to experts, facilitates research collaborations and leverages funding to help lower businesses’ risk and costs of innovations.
“I am delighted that Brock University has joined the Greenhouse Technology Network,” says Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “Brock’s expert researchers and state-of-the-art equipment, including phytotron and plant growth chambers, have enabled us to develop strong leadership in the agricultural sector, particularly through our research institutes.”
He notes Brock has made great strides in the area of agricultural research through the University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and the Validation Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute (VPMI), a landmark facility aimed at making Niagara a research and innovation leader in the bioagriculture, bioscience and chemical manufacturing sectors.
Greenhouse-related research infrastructure and capacity at Brock include:
- More than 300 square-feet of sophisticated temperature and humidity-controlled research greenhouse and plant transformation facilities.
- A national grapevine germplasm repository that maintains high-quality, virus-free plant materials and eliminates viruses and other pathogens of concern in grapevines.
- Three research projects that explored innovative technologies, best management practices, information-sharing and other strategies to boost the Niagara and Ontario agricultural sectors.
- Strong expertise in environmental sustainability in agriculture, plant and fungi science, data science and analytics, chemistry, artificial intelligence, engineering, market research and business management, among other areas.
“We look forward to contributing to, and learning from, our new partners,” says Kenyon. “Our combined strengths will open new doors in the development, adoption and implementation of technologies to support the greenhouse industry.”
In addition to Brock and Windsor, the GTN also includes Niagara College’s Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre, the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility at the University of Guelph and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.
The GTN was formed in 2019 with support from a $5-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“Thanks to the investment by FedDev Ontario, we’ve been able to support greenhouse and technology industries in southern Ontario and allow students to gain experience in applied research projects,” says Marc Nantel, Niagara College’s Vice-President, Research, Innovation, and Strategic Enterprises.
He says he is “thrilled” to have Brock and Windsor on board. “With their unique capabilities, plus the offerings our other members have, we will be able to take on even more innovative projects to help move industry forward.”
For more information about GTN and how to partner with Brock University, contact Iva Bruhova, Business Development Officer at email@example.com