GUELPH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 24, 2007) - Cambridge MP Gary Goodyear, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that Canada's New Government will allocate $886,512 in nine research projects in Guelph in 2007-08, and a total of $6.2 million for 56 projects in Ontario. "Canada's New Government is proud to invest more than $886,000 for nine agricultural research projects in Guelph, and more than $6 million for projects across Ontario," said MP Goodyear. "Once the research is complete, these innovative projects could become important developments for producers and Canadians." The support announced today will go to projects such as: - Identifying linkages between dietary fibre and human health; - Developing strategies to reduce Salmonella contamination in pork and poultry products; and - Developing starch structure modifications for nutritional and industrial applications. The announcement was made at the Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada Food Research Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Earlier this year, Minister Strahl announced the results of the external Peer Review of AAFC research proposals for 2007-08. A total of 233 research projects have been approved as a result of this review and AAFC is allocating over $22 million to these projects. Canada's New Government launched the Peer Review process in 2006 to ensure future research projects are based on excellence in science, as well as the competitiveness of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to submit future proposals to external Peer Review to uphold the credibility of its science and ensure sound investment of public funds. For more information on the results of the external peer review process, please visit the AAFC website at: www.agr.gc.ca/research-projects BACKGROUNDER In May 2006, Minister Strahl announced Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Science and Innovation Strategy which identified seven national goals and priorities to ensure AAFC's investments and efforts in science and innovation remain relevant to the agricultural sector. The Peer Review has allowed the department to realign its research efforts and resources by submitting research project proposals to external evaluation by the scientific community prior to allocating funds. Project proposals were submitted to four external review panels focused on plant sciences, animal sciences, environment and ecology and food sciences. The panels were composed of 38 expert scientists from organizations outside AAFC, who used preliminary evaluations from 330 external experts. Each proposal was evaluated against specific selection criteria including, assuring the best possible investment of public funds, ensuring scientific excellence, and providing international-caliber science in the agriculture and agri-food sector. During this process, scientists were encouraged to use integrated, multi-disciplinary research projects that involved more than one scientist and included research coordination and collaboration with other government departments and agencies, academia and/or industry. In total, 233 research proposals were identified for support. Scientists will continue to conduct research in traditional areas, while exploring new promising areas for research to help build a sustainable and competitive agriculture and agri-food sector for the 21st Century. More information on AAFC's external Peer Review and its results are available online at www.agr.gc.ca/research-projects.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Ottawa, Ontario Media Relations 613-759-7972 1-866-345-7972 or Minister Strahl's Office Ted Yeomans Press Secretary 613-759-1059