Province Eyes Bioindustries Corporation

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Provincial funding for agriculture research in Alberta would be administered through one “bioindustries” Crown corporation in a new framework on its way through the legislature.

The proposed Alberta Research and Innovation Act, introduced March 18, would merge the province’s 10 existing “research and innovation entities” into four sector-based Crown corporations and an advisory body, the Alberta Research and Innovation Authority, which would provide “strategic advice and recommendations” to the province’s minister of advanced education and technology (AET).

“Researchers, entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders would benefit from more clearly defined roles of participants in Alberta’s innovation continuum, and more easily access support and information services,” the province said in a release.

Included in this restructuring are the Alberta Science and Research Authority; the Alberta Research Council; Alberta Ingenuity (the operating name for the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Science and Engineering Research); the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research; a provincial Crown corporation, iCORE Inc.; and the AET department’s five research institutes, including the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute.

The proposed new “bioindustries” corporation would merge the functions of the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute, Alberta Forestry Research Institute and Alberta Life Sciences Institute.

The other three new corporations would focus on energy and the environment; health; and bringing technology to market.

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