Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
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Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
Sustainable Production

Prosperity of forestry and agriculture depends on sustainable production

Download Fact Sheet Here 

Forestry and agriculture, two major contributors to Alberta's economy, need to balance productivity with long-term stewardship of natural resources. Prosperity in these sectors depends on expanding the value chain, as well as rural development.

In order to adapt to economic challenges, the agriculture and forestry industries must reinvigorate themselves through embracing new technologies, products and services.

To expand sustainable production, AI Bio has two main priorities:

1. Market-Driven Traits and Products

Research investments focus on increasing the global competitiveness of Alberta's agriculture and forest sectors through: reduced cost of production, value addition (e.g. traits and attributes) and the development of new products (e.g. water and nutrient use efficiency, high value products).

2. Agriculture and Forest Sustainability

AI Bio answers research questions to optimize the responsible use of Alberta's agricultural and forested landscapes, addressing Alberta's economic, social and ecological goals (e.g. control of mountain pine beetle).


AI Bio's Projects, Programs and Initiatives


For a listing of AI Bio's research projects focused on sustainable production (formerly Value Chain Sustainability), view the summary excel spreadsheet at Project Investments by Fiscal Year or visit our BioLINK research project database for specific projects.

Halting the invasion of the mountain pine beetle

AI Bio is funding research by Janice Cooke, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and an expert in the mountain pine beetle. Climate change has allowed this destructive little pest to flourish and spread.

In 2011, Cooke and co-researchers discovered the beetle had jumped species, from the lodgepole pine in B.C. to stands of jack pine in Alberta. Cooke is using genomics to better understand the beetle and its host trees. With AI Bio's support, she is working to uncover new knowledge and develop tools to prevent the beetle from spreading further eastward and posing a serious threat to Canada's boreal forest coast to coast.

Read Attack of the pine beetle.

Read about Cooke's AI Bio-funded research project here.

Better barley for farmers

Watch this video to find out how a project co-funded by AI Bio is helping farmers. Researchers at the Field Crop Development Centre in Lacombe, Alta., are evaluating numerous barley varieties from around the world to identify those that use nitrogen most efficiently. Increasing nitrogen use efficiency will boost yields and lower fertilizer costs - benefiting both producers and the environment. 

New corn research facility in Lethbridge

DuPont Pioneer's research facility in Lethbridge, supported by AI Bio and ACIDF, is working on new corn hybrids that can grow in areas where the growing season is short and the climate is cool. Grain corn can be a valuable addition to Alberta's livestock feed options. 

July 15, 2015

News Story

DuPont Pioneer opens new corn facility

July 8, 2015

News Release

DuPont Pioneer Investing in Developing Ultra-Early Maturity Hybrids for Western Canada

March 20, 2014

News Release

DuPont Pioneer Receives $1 Million Grant to Advance Economically Important Crops in Alberta



Alberta Innovates Phytola Centre  (Brochure  , Overview  )

Launched in January 2011 through an Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions' investment, the centre is led by Dr. Randall Weselake, a professor in the University of Alberta's department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science and a Tier I Canada Research Chair. The Centre has two major research thrusts: increasing the quantity of the oil the seeds produce and improving the quality of the oil for nutraceutical and industrial applications.

March 10, 2015

News Story 

Discovery adds health benefits to common Canadian crops

February 21, 2012

News Story

New $1.5M lab presents exciting opportunities for plant science team

January 25, 2011

News Release

Alberta Innovates makes strategic investment in oilseed and livestock research 


Livestock Gentec, an Alberta Innovates Centre    (Fact Sheet 2014)

Supported by investments from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Dr. Graham Plastow leads researchers at the Centre in developing a greater understanding of animal genomes to help improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the livestock sector.

July 22, 2015

News Story 

New funding to increase feed efficiency and reduce methane emissions in Canada's dairy industry (Genome Alberta)

February 26, 2015

News Story

ALES partners with top Chinese university to establish joint Swine Genomics Excellence Centre

November 13, 2014

 News Story

Delta Genomics Centre Spin-Out from the University of Alberta Business Incubation Program
Delta Genomics Fact Sheet 2014

June 14, 2013


"Getting in the kNOw in GeNOmics!"
A video to get livestock producers interested in applying genomics to agriculture.

July 27, 2011

News Story 

Livestock research centre announces partnership agreement 

July 26. 2011

News Release

Livestock research centre announces partnership agreement 

January 25, 2011

News Release

Alberta Innovates makes strategic investment in oilseed and livestock research 


Last updated: Friday, January 15, 2016