Mitacs will provide funding for the four-year RBSC project, aimed at developing next-generation tools and methods for expanding, screening and selecting biodiversity in non-GMO industrial yeast strains.
It will enable RBSC to accelerate the development of novel yeast strains that address industrial process and product challenges for the food and beverage industries, while meeting end-user demand for non-GMO ingredients.
It also introduces the potential for new product flavours, aromas and functions.
Commercializing non-GMO yeast
“Mitacs’ commitment will allow us to accelerate our strain development technology capabilities, and deliver innovative next-generation yeast technology, products and services to the marketplace,” said Dr Matthew Dahabieh, RBSC’s chief science officer.
The project will be facilitated by three University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers, including Dr Corey Nislow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr Thibault Mayor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and Dr Chris Loewen of the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences.
The project is also expected to create around 20 post-doctoral and graduate research scientist positions at RBSC and UBC to conduct research.
“The combination of next-generation genomics, automation and bioinformatics will provide our scientists at UBC with a chance to explore the full range of career opportunities,” said Dr Nislow,
“We’re proud to partner with RSBC to support the development of their next-generation non-GMO yeast platform, while also providing UBC researchers with the knowledge and skills they will need to successfully transition to the job market,” added Alejandro Adem, CEO and scientific director of Mitac.
Vancouver-based Renaissance BioScience is a privately held applied life sciences company that develops novel, yeast-based, patent-protected technologies for the global food, beverage, nutrition, biofuel and pharmaceutical industries.
The wholly owned commercial subsidiaries of RSBC include Renaissance Ingredients – which commercializes acrylamide-reducing yeast; Renaissance Yeast – which commercializes hydrogen sulfide-preventing wine yeast; and Bright Brewers Yeast.