EXPANDING THE ECOSYSTEM

Meet SOSCIP’s newest academic member institutions and discover how they plan to access SOSCIP’s resources to make a positive impact.

Joining SOSCIP as the 15th academic member in 2016, the University of Guelph offers significant research strengths in the areas of food, agricultural science, biodiversity and the environment, veterinary medicine, and “one health” – the continuum between animal, human, and environmental health – among others.

“The University of Guelph is one of the leading research universities in the world for the study of food, agricultural science, and veterinary medicine,” explained Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research), University of Guelph. 

“Southern Ontario is home to one of the largest agriculture and food sectors in North America – feeding a sizeable domestic population and fuelling a significant export market. By identifying ways to apply smart computing and artificial intelligence to the design and development of novel inventions and methods, we can support this important sector while remaining sustainable, economical, and environmentally-responsible.”

Associate professor Alireza Navabi from the University of Guelph has begun work in this field with industry partner, Grain Farmers of Ontario. Prof. Navabi’s SOSCIP collaborative research project is applying smart computing to improve the genetics of winter wheat crops in Ontario that are threatened by a devastating fungal disease known as Fusarium head blight (FHB).

“We also see opportunities to work with SOSCIP and its partners to apply smart computing in the areas of biodiversity and the environment,” explained Prof. Campbell.

The university is home to the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, which is committed to research and developing applications for sustaining natural systems. The Institute is the birthplace of DNA barcoding, which looks to create a DNA repository of every living organism on the planet. 

“This is a tremendous initiative for the protection and survival of living organisms in an uncertain world,” said Prof. Campbell.

“We look forward to working with the resources provided by SOSCIP and building rich partnerships that will enhance the university’s strong research profile in these areas.”