Loyalist College to Launch Canada's First Technology Access Centre for Natural Products and Cannabis

Published: June 14, 2019

Loyalist College to Launch Canada's First Technology Access Centre for Natural Products and Cannabis

Loyalist College is the recipient of a $1,750,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program grant over five years to launch Canada’s first Technology Access Centre (TAC) for natural products and cannabis. In addition, Loyalist received $1M through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) to add specialized equipment to the TAC.

Loyalist was one of 90 recipients at colleges, cégeps and polytechnics across the country to receive part of the $73M in funding, announced today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. Through the CCI Program and the CIIF, this investment will help post-secondary institutions partner directly with local employers to facilitate commercialization and transform the results of research and development into new technologies to help businesses expand and grow.

The rapid growth of Canada’s cannabis, hops and natural products sectors positions Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC) as a national innovation hub for small- to medium-sized enterprises. As a TAC, Loyalist will build on the ARC’s 15 years of natural product extraction expertise and analysis-based applied research. In transitioning to a TAC, Loyalist’s ARC will significantly increase the College’s capacity to lead applied research of commercially relevant natural products and cannabis, and to support innovation by enhancing industries’ access to sector-relevant expertise and technology.

The TAC initiative will cultivate an environment for College-industry partnerships to thrive while providing students with unparalleled opportunities for work-integrated learning; investigating extraction, isolation, and formulation; and product development. In partnership with the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC), Loyalist will support the Bay of Quinte’s burgeoning natural products and cannabis sectors to generate regional socioeconomic benefits, and to provide opportunities for a new generation of innovators. Loyalist will also offer companies across Canada a supportive, community-oriented platform from which to enhance their productivity, expand their reach and augment their competitiveness in the global market.

“We are very grateful for NSERC’s continued support and proud to be Canada’s first TAC for natural products and cannabis,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President & CEO, “Loyalist currently has more than 25 companies interested in applied research, and as our ARC transitions into a TAC, we will be able to meet their requirements while significantly extending our network to help more companies to innovate. Our Biosciences and Cannabis Applied Science students will have the advantage of being involved in ground-breaking research that propels Canada forward as the world leader in cannabis and natural product developments.”

“It’s great to see this NSERC and CFI funding come through for Loyalist College’s launch of Canada’s first TAC for research in natural products and cannabis,” said Neil R. Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte, “Being able to conduct research in a state-of-the-art facility means that students working in the College’s ARC will be able to build up their expertise in product analysis; which can then be applied directly to commercial development. This is just the beginning of seeing a new series of natural products being designed, assessed, made and delivered from our region.”

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