Edmonton, AB — May 17, 2021: The National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded G2V Optics and University of Alberta’s Dr. R. Glen Uhrig an Alliance grant worth $360,000 over two years, in order to research light’s impact on the genetic response and phenotype of horticulturally relevant plants. Alberta Innovates’ CASBE program is matching the NSERC funding to further support collaborative research between strong partners that will benefit all Canadians.
NSERC Alliance grants encourage collaboration between university researchers and partner organizations from the private, public or non-profit sectors. Strong, complementary collaborations are a key requirement for the funding, as well as the project’s ability to further knowledge development and accelerate research applications that benefit all Canadians. Under this grant, the industry partner pays one-third of the research and development costs, and the remaining two-thirds is funded by the Canadian government grant.
The Alberta Innovates Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) program is a partnership between Alberta Innovates and NSERC to fund collaborations between SMEs and post-secondary research in Alberta. The goal of the program is for an Alberta SME to adopt emerging technologies developed with researcher support. The Alberta CASBE program matches the federal funding provided by the NSERC Alliance Grant.
The proposed work extends G2V’s previous collaborations with Dr. Uhrig, where they investigated light’s impact on the genetic response and phenotype of model organisms like arabidopsis. Both parties benefit from the project. Dr. Uhrig receives funding and an opportunity to work on a problem at the intersection of multiple spheres of expertise. G2V, meanwhile, gets access to Dr. Uhrig’s deep expertise in plant biology and bioinformatics as well as collaborations with machine learning, in addition to the facilities for carrying out this type of experimentation.
“This is an incredibly exciting partnership that offers great promise for the development of next generation plant growth approaches” Dr. R. Glen Uhrig
G2V’s proprietary LED lighting technology is essential to unlocking the phenomena the teams plan to investigate—phenomena not easy to probe with high-intensity sodium, metal-halide or fluorescent grow lights which cannot adequately replicate sunlight. The end result of the work will be insight into how to apply lights to plants in controlled environment growth systems and greenhouses in order to modulate their growth and development.
“The NSERC Alliance & CASBE projects allow G2V and Prof. Uhrig to push the boundaries of photobiology. We are discovering new things about the interaction between light and plants, and how to use that knowledge to improve plant growth for G2V’s customers.” – Mike Taschuk CTO, Founder
The intended plants for study are leafy-green superfoods of importance to the dietary health of all Canadians. Discovering non-invasive ways to increase the growth, productivity and nutritional content of key horticultural crops is part of a global long-term need for food security in the era of climate change.
This Alliance grant allows G2V and Prof. Uhrig to strengthen the close ties they’ve established between commercial enterprise and fundamental science, ultimately expediting the delivery of scientific benefits for Canadian health and the Canadian food supply.
About G2V Optics:
G2V Optics is an emerging leader in smart lighting, monitoring, and data science solutions for advanced cultivation and solar research applications. The company is committed to delivering the highest ROI to the world’s leading innovators of light-dependent systems with the proprietary Engineered Sunlight™ platform.
G2V is headquartered in Edmonton, Canada and is an established innovator in software-controlled, adjustable-spectra technologies for aerospace and solar energy applications with customers at global technology firms and research institutions in over 25 countries. For more information, come find us at www.g2voptics.com.
About Prof. R. Glen Uhrig:
Prof. R. Glen Uhrig is a driven and passionate Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta who applies molecular biology, biochemistry and proteomics in both academia and industry. He received his M.Sc. from Queen’s University, his PhD from the University of Calgary and has been at the forefront of plant biology over the past 15 years. .
The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds visionaries, explorers and innovators who are in pursuit of breakthroughs to benefit Canada. They are Canada’s largest innovation supporter, working with universities, colleges, businesses and non-profits to remove barriers and develop opportunities toward a thriving research community.
About Alberta Innovates:
The province’s largest innovation agency, Alberta Innovates operates from funding to commercialization. They aim to solve today’s challenges and create new opportunities toward a sustainable and prosperous future for Albertans.