The Canada First Research Excellence Fund has awarded the University of Saskatchewan $37.2 million over 7 years for global food security research. The Canadian Light Source is a major partner in this project, providing unique imaging capabilities to advance agricultural leadership.

The funding, the largest single grant ever awarded to the university, will help establish the Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre as a global resource for crop breeding and food security. 

“There is no question that this is the ideal place for this type of project,” says Dean Chapman, Canadian Light Source Science Director and Canada Research Chair in X-ray imaging.

Dean Chapman, Canadian Light Source Science Director.

“There is no other place where a synchrotron and a university are co-located on one campus, and there is no other synchrotron that has better infrastructure and expertise to support research in the area of agricultural sciences.”

Using synchrotron techniques, researchers will image living plants to determine structural and biomolecular signatures. This data is integral to plant breeders and geneticists working to develop hardier, healthier breeds of agricultural crops both at home and abroad.

The funding will advance plant research through the U of S Global institute for Food Security, enhancing partnerships with four Canadian and three international universities, along with the National Research Council, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and more than 15 private and public organizations.


To learn more about the Canada First Research Excellence Fund please visit


About the Canadian Light Source Inc.:

The CLS is the brightest light in Canada—millions of times brighter than even the sun—used by scientists to get incredibly detailed information about the structural and chemical properties of materials at the molecular level, with work ranging from mine tailing remediation to cancer research and cutting-edge materials development.

The CLS has hosted over 2,500 researchers from academic institutions, government, and industry from 10 provinces and 2 territories; delivered over 40,000 experimental shifts; received over 10,000 user visits; and provided a scientific service critical in over 1,500 scientific publications, since beginning operations in 2005. The CLS has over 200 full-time employees.

CLS operations are funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Western Economic Diversification Canada, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.

For more information please contact:

Victoria Martinez
Communications Coordinator 
1 (306) 657-3771 

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