ARCHIVED - NRC Opens Industry Partnership Facility and Welcomes NewCompanies to Saskatchewan

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May 03, 2003— Ottawa, Ontario

Minister Cline, Minister Goodale and NRC President Dr. Carty unveil a plaque
Minister Cline, Minister Goodale and NRC President Dr. Carty unveil a plaque listing the first companies to incubate at the NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute (NRC-PBI) Industry Partnership Facility (IPF) .

On 4 March, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, on behalf of Industry Minister Allan Rock, announced the opening of the NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute (NRC-PBI) Industry Partnership Facility (IPF) - a $15.4 million expansion that has already attracted new innovative firms to Saskatoon's world-class ag-biotech cluster. Five plant-science companies, including two international firms, have moved into the facility, demonstrating Canada's position as a leader in research and innovation in this field.

In 2001-2002, 71 firms were incubating or co-located at NRC. Research has shown that incubated firms stand a much better chance of survival in the marketplace. These IPFs act as magnets that attract innovative firms to NRC. By co-locating with NRC, firms gain efficient access to NRC's specialized facilities, the expertise of its researchers, extensive national and international networks, and its technology intelligence and knowledge dissemination resources.

To commemorate the event, Minister Goodale, along with Saskatchewan Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline and NRC president Dr. Arthur Carty unveiled a plaque bearing the names of the IPF's first tenant companies. Following the ceremony, the trio had the opportunity to tour the new facility including labs of the incubating companies.

Meet the tenants of NRC-PBI's Industrial Partnership Facility

NRC-PBI's Facility
Saskatoon's AgriFood Biotech Cluster

Saskatoon's agrifood biotech cluster is one of the few identifiable agricultural and food biotechnology clusters in the world. It has more than 20 years of history in Saskatchewan, and has gained a reputation for introducing 'world firsts' into the market. Nevertheless, the agrifood biotech cluster continues to rapidly evolve and is currently establishing itself as Canada's centre for plant and animal genome science.

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Located in close proximity to NRC-PBI and the University of Saskachewan, Innovation Place research park has over one million square feet of combined office, lab and greenhouse space. Officially launched in 1981, Innovation Place is now home to 115 companies and 2000 employees. Most of those tenant companies are collaborators with NRC-PBI.


Agrisoma Biosciences Inc

Founded in 2000, Agrisoma is a Canadian agricultural biotechnology company wholly owned by Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. Chromos has developed a unique and proprietary gene delivery and expression system for application in two large and growing healthcare markets - cellular protein production and cell-based gene therapy. This unique and revolutionary technology is now being applied with a focus on agriculture through Agrisoma.

Agrisoma aims to follow the Chromos path to become the leading company in the use of chromosome technology for the development of high value crops with multiple commercial applications. Agrisoma's business focus is in three primary areas: development of high value crops with enhanced yield; quality and commercial value, screening and gene discovery tools for plant genomics; and efficient production of high value therapeutic and industrial proteins in plant-based production systems.

In 2001, Agrisoma's research and development activities were largely conducted through collaborative research with established international plant biotechnology institutes. However, in 2002, Agrisoma made a strategic decision to capitalize on the strengths of the Saskatoon ag-biotechnology cluster by locating its main R & D capabilities in laboratory facilities at NRC-PBI. The critical mass of expertise within NRC-PBI and the local scientific community as well as the ability to collaborate with the industry offers an excellent environment for the further development of the company. Agrisoma also maintains state of the art research facilities in cooperation with Chromos in Burnaby, BC.

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Bioriginal Food and Science Corp.

Established in 1993, Bioriginal Food and Science Corp. is a Saskatchewan based nutraceutical/functional food company producing EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) oils from borage primrose, black current, flax and hemp. Bioriginal is the leading supplier of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) in North America, and markets its products on six continents. Bioriginal's head office is in Saskatoon and with other offices located in Europe and China.

This natural health products company has had several industry firsts: the first EFA company in Canada to establish pharmaceutical-level Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards for both oil and herb products and to be certified; first GLA company to guarantee that its products adhere to World Health Organization Codex standards for edible oil safety; and the first to provide a certificate of analysis with every shipment.

Based strongly in science Bioriginal has incubated its research program at NRC-PBI over the last three years. Bioriginal collaborates with NRC-PBI researchers to investigate new healthy products from plants.

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Guardian Biotechnologies Inc.

Minister Cline, NRC President Dr. Carty and Minister Goodale visit Guardian Biotechnology's new facilities.
Minister Cline, NRC President Dr. Carty and Minister Goodale visit Guardian Biotechnology's new facilities.
Minister Cline and Minister Goodale look on as a (Star Phoenix) reporter photographs Guardian's lab faiclities
Minister Cline and Minister Goodale look on as a (Star Phoenix) reporter photographs Guardian's lab facilities.

Launched in August 2002, Guardian Biotechnologies Inc. is a privately owned company that operates from its corporate headquarters in Saskatoon. The company is a Canadian affiliate of the Korean based company Nexgen Biotechnologies Inc. which was founded in 1999. Nexgen is involved with the molecular farming of useful proteins for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and industrial process through transgenic plants.

Like its parent company, Guardian will focus on molecular farming to produce vaccines, diagnostic assay kits and commercial enzymes. The company will also offer genetic screening services such as GM screening of both processed foods and raw cereals and grains. Guardian Biotechnologies Inc. will also have several alliances with domestic and foreign companies through its parent company.

Guardian Biotechnologies Inc. will occupy approximately 2,400 ft2 of office and laboratory space within the NRC-PBI newly developed IPF. This affiliation with NRC offers instant access to the diverse expertise of the NRC; secure office and laboratory space; small business access to expensive equipment such as plant growth facilities, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry and DNA technologies such as sequencing and synthetic gene synthesis; and access to expert databases such as the Canadian Bioinformatics Resource database and the on site Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) resource centre.

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Seed Check Technologies Inc.

Ron Mantyka, President of Seed Check Technologies Inc. describes their seed diagnostic technologies to Minister Goodale, Minister Cline and NRC President Dr. Carty.
Ron Mantyka, President of Seed Check Technologies Inc. describes their seed diagnostic technologies to Minister Goodale, Minister Cline and NRC President Dr. Carty.
Minister Cline, Minister Goodale and NRC President Dr. Carty check out the displays at Seed Check's future home.
Minister Cline, Minister Goodale and NRC President Dr. Carty check out the displays at Seed Check's future home.

Seed Check Technologies Inc. is offering two main categories of services: Seed testing services which encompasses tests which are routinely done at other seed testing labs; and Other related services - such as genetic testing, and supportive research activities, which require the equipment and expertise found at NRC-PBI.

SCT's long-term objective is to take advantage of its unique position of being able to offer core services to the seed industry in a "high tech" environment by jointly developing DNA chip technologies with the National Research Council. This technology will make it possible to conduct tests in real time and on-site with a hand held device. These devices will play a major role in addressing the increasing demands for assurances for food safety. The library of information SCT accumulates daily will play a pivotal role in commercializing the technology.

NRC-PBI affords SCT several significant advantages including: technical support; reduced risks in identifying and adopting new technologies; access to highly skilled, technical support; and enhanced ability to diversify SCT's service.

Seed Check Technologies (SCT) Inc. has a head office and a CFIA accredited lab in Alberta.

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Targeted Growth Canada Inc.

Targeted Growth (TG) Canada was incorporated in Saskatchewan on October 28, 2002. Through utilizing advanced scientific techniques, TG Canada will dramatically increase the overall yield and health of crops, sharing significant revenues and savings with the farmer. TG Canada also has a sister company in the U.S. called Targeted Growth that began operations in 1999.

TG Canada chose to incubate at the IPF because of NRC-PBI's outstanding understanding and assistance to small research and development companies. NRC-PBI's knowledge of the financial and technical challenges facing a small biotech company have greatly aided in the advancement of TG Canada's technologies. The NRC-PBI IPF offers TG Canada exposure to state of the art equipment, business advice, as well as technical advice from world leaders in the field.

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Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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