Saskatchewan celebrates the science of biotechnology with National Biotechnology Week September 16-23, 2011

( September 16, 2011 )

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InterVac Grand Opening kicks off the week of events

The Grand Opening of the International Vaccine Centre, on Friday, September 16, 2011, has been chosen as the National Launch event for National Biotechnology Week.

Ag-West Bio congratulates the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization on achieving this milestone with the opening of this facility of great importance to Saskatchewan and all of Canada.

Besides the obvious benefits to society that we will gain through advances in vaccine development, there will be economic benefits from the research collaborations made possible because of the calibre of this facility. Ag-West continues to work with VIDO-InterVac to develop essential networks for growing our bioeconomy,? says Wilf Keller, president and CEO for Ag-West Bio. ?The Grand Opening of InterVac is the perfect event to kick off a week of celebrations in the biotech industry,? he adds.

Numerous events are planned in Saskatchewan to promote and celebrate the science of biotechnology. The Province of Saskatchewan, the City of Regina and the City of Saskatoon have each proclaimed September 16 – 23 as Biotech Week. Ag-West Bio is the coordinator for Biotech Week in Saskatchewan. The events are organized with the help of a committee drawn from the bioscience cluster.

Dr. Pamela Ronald, a plant geneticist from University of California, Davis, has been invited to deliver a public lecture at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Ronald has co-written a book with her husband Raoul Adamchak, who runs the organic farm program at UC Davis, entitled “Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food,” which explores the possibility of merging GM technology with organic farming. The lecture is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Monday, September 19th, Physics 107.

Education outreach this year includes The Amazing Biotech Race for post-secondary students (Sept. 22), and Biotech Blast for students in grades 7 and 8 (Sept. 23). A commercialization seminar, The Art of Deal Making, will take place September 22 at Innovation Place. That afternoon, we toast the science of biotechnology with the Third Annual Biotech & Beer at Boffins.

With over 30 percent of Canada’s agricultural biotechnology activity and many other life science areas taking hold here –including genomics, plant-made pharmaceuticals and diagnostics— we have much to celebrate. Two university campuses and three research parks, along with numerous research institutions and technical training centres create a significant science cluster, a boost to researchers and businesses. Life science discoveries foster new opportunities in the areas of biofuels and bioproducts, functional foods and natural health products. Outstanding science R&D infrastructure, a talented workforce, quality raw materials and a solid business environment make Saskatchewan the perfect place for bio-business!