U of S crop, vaccine, and fuel researchers vie for award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 13, 2011 2011-04-05-other University of Saskatchewan researchers behind groundbreaking fuel technology, a poultry vaccine and advanced crop development were announced as finalists for the Award of Innovation at the SABEX "Celebrate Success!" reception yesterday evening.

121 Research Dr. at Innovation Place, the U of S research park just north of the main campus
Photo by Mark Ferguson
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"The technologies developed by these researchers are enriching our lives through improvements in livestock health, the creation of new and better food crops and the reduction in greenhouse gases," said Glen Schuler, managing director of the U of S Industry Liaison Office (ILO). "Our city and our province has and will continue to, benefit for many years to come due to investment this research brings." Co-sponsored by Innovation Place and the University's Industry Liaison Office, the Award of Innovation honours U of S researchers who are commercializing their technologies.
"We're excited by this year's group of finalists," said Austin Beggs, vice-president for corporate relations at Innovation Place. "Many of the enterprises at Innovation Place are built on ideas that began at the U of S and many of the highly qualified people that work here are U of S graduates. We're proud to celebrate the successes that help bring novel products and processes to the marketplace."
The award finalists are:
Hui Wang, Ajay Dalai and Jianguo (Jack) Zhang from the U of S College of Engineering have created advanced catalysts used to transform carbon dioxide and methane - both potent greenhouse gases - into synthesis gas, or syngas, a basic feedstock for producing gasoline and other fuels. California-based Carbon Sciences, the company that has licensed the technology, calls it a "game changer" for the oil and gas industry, allowing fuels to be produced near greenhouse and natural gas sites and aiding the drive to global energy independence.
Susantha Gomis from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and Suresh Tikoo from the School of Public Health and Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) have developed a hepatitis vaccine for broiler chickens. The vaccine was co-invented with Davor Ojkic from the University of Guelph. Inclusion body hepatitis is a serious problem for the poultry industry, killing between 10 and 30 per cent of infected flocks. The new vaccine is administered to the parent birds, who then transfer their immunity to the disease to their chicks. The ILO is working to license this technology to several companies for use in Canada and the United States.
Brian Rossnagel is one of Canada's best known crop scientists and a world expert in oat and barley genetics. Based at the U of S Crop Development Centre (CDC), he is responsible for more than 90 new cultivars, several of which are the preferred varieties for western Canadian farmers. Sown on millions of acres every year, these varieties have generated more than $3 million in royalties for the CDC to date. Unique varieties include the first hull-less barley, the world's first high oil, low lignin hull feed oat, and a low-phytate barley which can help reduce environmental impact of high intensity hog operations.
The winner of the Award of Innovation will be announced May 18th at the SABEX "Celebrate Success!" gala, sponsored by the Saskatoon and District Chamber of Commerce. The Award of Innovation is open to U of S employees. Selection criteria include innovation, novelty and potential commercial impact. The selection committee includes representatives from Innovation Place and the U of S. In addition to a cash prize, the winner will be recognized with a photo on the "Award of Innovation" wall at the ILO and a personal trophy.
Innovation Place is one of North America's most successful university-related research parks. For more information on Innovation Place, visit www.innovationplace.com.
The ILO works with inventors to help commercialize innovations developed at the U of S. For more information on the ILO, visit www.usask.ca/research/ilo
For more information on the Award of Innovation, contact:
Glen Schuler
Managing Director
Industry Liaison Office (ILO)
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-4584
Email: glen.schuler@usask.ca
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