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New partnership in horticulture research


February 28, 2012
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Feb. 28, 2012, Vineland, ON – Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the University of Guelph have announced an important new research partnership for the Canadian horticulture industry.

Effective immediately, well-respected researcher Dr. Youbin Zheng will serve as the Vineland/University of Guelph Chair in Environmental Horticulture. This position will improve collaboration across Canadian research networks and speed access to new technologies and innovations for industry.

"Dr. Zheng will be splitting his time between Vineland and the University of Guelph where some of the country's best work in greenhouse 'intelligent irrigation' systems, water treatment for re-circulation, plant environment interactions, and biocontrol is being led for the greenhouse and nursery sectors. No surprise to anyone but rapid delivery of results is the focus here, and of course the key to industry competitiveness globally," said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

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Zheng was an adjunct professor and technical manager of the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility in the Ontario Agricultural College's School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. He will be working side-by-side with Dr. Michael Brownbridge, Vineland's research director in horticultural production systems. Together these researchers bring decades of combined experience in green roof technology, greenhouse and nursery plant production, and urban agriculture.

"This is an exciting opportunity made possible by establishing a new type of partnership," said Robert Gordon, Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College. "As we look at increasing challenges to research funding, it is important to explore creative options for partnerships to support this type of important work."

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organization that was created to be a world-class centre for horticultural science and innovation. Vineland's research priorities and outcomes are focused on the growth of the entire horticulture industry.

The centre is funded in part by the federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward initiative.


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