Investments in Green Insect Management Help Protect Environment

News Release

Acadia University continues to develop a commercial line of natural pesticide alternatives for use in forestry and agriculture.

July 7, 2017 – Wolfville, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Concerns about the potentially harmful effects of traditional pesticides are on the rise. Alternative green solutions to pest management in the agriculture and forestry sectors are of great interest around the world. That is why the Government of Canada is investing nearly $3 million in a project to help Acadia University research, develop and transition these technologies into the marketplace.

Researchers are developing a commercial line of innovative, clean technology products that will protect the environment and decrease damage to Canada’s crops and forests caused by native and foreign insects. This collaborative work is being driven by public and private sector investments and led by a specialized team of scientists and technicians.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings – Hants, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, also spoke at the event.

The investment is being provided through ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, which encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop and commercialize new or improved products and services.

The project is Pan-Atlantic in scope with the participation of a number of federal labs including Natural Resources Canada’s Atlantic Forestry Centre in Fredericton, NB and Corner Brook, NL, universities and private companies, including Forest Protection Limited (FPL) of Lincoln, NB and Sylvar Technologies Inc. of Fredericton, NB.

FPL and Sylvar Technologies will lead the commercialization of products including traps, lures and sprays that attract, repulse or confuse the mating behaviour of targeted insects like the Eastern Spruce Budworm, a massive threat to forests, and the Spotted Wing Drosophila, an invasive global fruit crop pest that causes $500 million in damage per year in North America.

Multiple other funding partners are helping to make this project possible including: Acadia University, Forest Protection Limited, Natural Resources Canada, SERG International, University of New Brunswick Graduate Student Awards, Dalhousie University, Agrifor Biotchechnical Services Limited and Sylvar Technologies Inc.

This project demonstrates the Government of Canada’s focused approach to economic development through innovation. Over the next five years, all six regional development agencies, including ACOA, will invest a total of $1.5 billion to strengthen innovation capacity and economic growth in each region of the country. Part of these investments will go towards supporting regional organizations like Acadia University that are developing new technologies to boost their innovation capacity and competitiveness.


Quotes

 “The Government of Canada believes innovation is critical to economic success. This includes encouraging breakthrough ideas in areas such as bioscience as well as value-added opportunities in resource industries like agriculture and forestry. Acadia University’s research into green insect management will help protect the environment while creating highly skilled jobs.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and   Minister responsible for ACOA

“Every year, insects damage millions of hectares of Canadian forests and destroy a large percentage of our agricultural crops. Acadia University is developing natural pest management solutions that will potentially reduce the billions of dollars of damage caused by native and foreign insects, while protecting the environment and potentially decreasing the use of traditional pesticides.”

The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants

“The research being done here at Acadia has the potential to create effective and environmentally-responsible pheromone-based products that will be marketed in Canada and internationally. The Government of Canada is pleased to support projects such as this, which will bring clean, innovative technologies to the marketplace for use in the forestry and agriculture sectors.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“Development of effective, affordable tools for pest management using pheromones and other naturally-derived products ensures sustainable solutions for the future of Canada’s agriculture and forest industries. Research and innovation supported under this initiative will lead to significant advances, which will improve the long-term health of our environment, and enable novel solutions to challenges in food and forest production.”

Dr. Kirk Hillier, Professor of Biology, Acadia University, Principal Investigator

 “Being committed to protecting our forests in the most environmentally friendly way possible means that finding new and improved green methods to deal with forest pests is an ongoing battle that is critical to success. The work being led by Acadia University to develop naturally-derived pest management products is an outstanding example of the innovative research that is needed to help us in this effort.”

JP Astorino, Managing Director, Forest Protection Limited

“The development of novel, safe and effective technologies for managing both invasive and domestic insect pests is critical for the continued protection of our natural resources and our forests and agricultural industries. The tools that will be developed in this project will lead to environmentally sound solutions for integrated pest management. We are proud to be part of this project that is being led by Acadia University and its partners.”

Stefan Richard, Managing Director, Sylvar Technologies Inc.

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Contacts

Alex Smith
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
E-mail: alex.smith@canada.ca    

Scott Roberts
Executive Director, Communications and Marketing
Acadia University
Phone: 902-585-1705 / 902-670-8966
E-mail: scott.roberts@acadiau.ca


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