Agricultural Biotechnology


Biotechnology is a growing component of a vibrant high tech sector in Alberta. The industry spans a wide spectrum of technology areas, including agriculture, health, genomics and proteomics, bioinformatics, and nanotechnology. 75% of the companies in the biotechnology sector in Alberta are focused on innovative health treatments and products.

Alberta has developed significant expertise in many areas, including:

  • bone and joint research
  • cancer research and treatment - especially reovirus, vaccines, diagnostics, and epidemiology
  • cardiovascular research
  • diabetes and islet transplantation research - Edmonton Protocol
  • vaccines and infectious diseases


Ag-biotechnology is a subsector of biotechnology involving the tools employed to understand and manipulate the genetic makeup of organisms for use in the production or processing of agricultural products.

Alberta has a rich natural resource base and Alberta’s agriculture and food industry is a vital segment of its economy. Recently, new emphasis has been placed on developing additional value-added products from crops and livestock, such as nutraceuticals. Alberta is also making substantial investments in bioindustrial products from renewable sources, converting non-crop plants and agricultural and forestry waste, into biofuels, biolubricants, and biochemcials. For more information on bioenergy visit Alberta Energy at:

Ag-biotechnology links

  • Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions : Bio Solutions is Alberta's leading agency for coordination and support of agricultural research. The organization provides significant financial assistance through competitive grants for biotechnology research projects conducted at universities, private sector and government laboratories.
  • Agri-Food Discovery Place : Agri-Food Discovery Place is a $24-million research facility of over 5,000 square metres, located at the University of Alberta South Campus. This facility is Canada’s only pre-pilot plant with level II biocontainment and solvent processing capabilities. It is home to the Crop Utilization & Enhanced Materials, and Meat Safety and Processing Research Centres (MSPRC).
  • Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre :
    The Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre links research, technology and business to bring new products derived from agriculture and forestry-based fibres to the market faster. It offers access to expertise, test facilities, scale-up equipment, validation prototyping, and customer-demonstration support. 
  • Food Processing Development Centre :The Food Processing Development Centre is a modern, fully equipped pilot plant and product development laboratory facility that is staffed with experienced food scientists, engineers and technologists. The Centre is designed to strengthen and expand the capability of Alberta's food processors through application of new technology and the development of new or improved products and processes.