Founded in 2012 in a public-private partnership agreement between the Government of Saskatchewan, Nutrien and USask, GIFS was created to build on Saskatchewan’s existing strengths in agriculture and innovation to deliver technological, economic, nutritional and environmental improvements to the global food production system.
“At GIFS, we have a bold vision of a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food, and Saskatchewan’s thriving agri-food ecosystem has the building blocks to help make this vision a reality,” said GIFS’ Chief Executive Officer Steven Webb (PhD).
“We are grateful to Nutrien, the Government of Saskatchewan and USask for their confidence in GIFS, their renewal of our Memorandum of Agreement and their continued support and financial commitment to our vision, which we are bringing to life through our various initiatives focused on making food production more sustainable.”
As the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, Nutrien is playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner. The organization’s investment in GIFS will support the public-private partnership’s focus on connecting the agri-food value chain to work together to advance the development of valuable agricultural technologies and deliver food production in a way that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
“Achieving global food security is central to Nutrien’s Purpose to grow our world from the ground up, and the Global Institute for Food Security is doing incredibly important work in this area,” said Nutrien President and CEO Mayo Schmidt. “Saskatchewan is one of the world’s strongest agri-science ecosystems, and we’re proud to partner with GIFS, the province and the University of Saskatchewan, to help bring innovations to market that will help farmers succeed in sustainably feeding a growing planet to realize Nutrien’s Feeding the Future plan commitments.”
Current initiatives underway at GIFS as part of its new phase of operations include its research and development to boost photosynthesis in crops, the process by which plants use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy and food.
“Agriculture is part of the solution for mitigating the effects of climate change and managing greenhouse gas emissions. Through photosynthesis, plants are able to absorb and sequester carbon to create food and energy, making the process one of nature’s safest and most sustainable solutions to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Webb.
“GIFS’ research programs to improve the photosynthetic ability of plants will help lead to improved quality crop yield and reduced carbon emissions – a win for economics and the environment.”
To accommodate its plans for its next phase of operations, GIFS has relocated to an expansive facility at 421 Downey Road, Innovation Place, Saskatoon. The new location contains twice its laboratory space and three times its plant growth facilities, including greenhouses and plant growth chambers.
“In line with our corporate strategy, we have totally transformed the way we work and have established new technology platforms to support our science programs and the research goals of our partners,” said Webb.“Our new location enables this strategy, providing the room we need to consolidate our offices and research facilities into one centre. This is giving life to our mission to work with partners to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food – for Saskatchewan, Canada and the world.”