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Forestry Innovation Transition Trust approves Genome Atlantic project

News release – Feb 4, 2021

The Forestry Innovation Transition Trust is helping to bring innovation to the forefront of the Nova Scotia forestry sector.

The Trust announced three more projects today, Feb 4, that allows businesses focused on new ecological forestry practices to tap into additional expertise to get their products ready for market.

The Innovation Hub of Nova Scotia Inc. will receive $921,000 to support forestry related bioeconomy clients at the pre-commercial stage to overcome technical and business hurdles in their development. The Hub and its partners are working to transform Nova Scotia’s renewable resources and underused waste streams into economic opportunities for the province by producing sustainable, renewable and recyclable products.

The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (VC Inc.) at Cape Breton University is receiving $672,500 over the next six months to support the development of a Bio-technology Acceleration Centre to help advance key forestry and biomass sector innovative technology companies towards commercialization.

Genome Atlantic will receive $315,500 over four years to support The Atlantic Tree Improvement Council (AtlanTIC) in producing more resilient, commercially important tree species in Nova Scotia.

It will include collaborative breeding, field testing, and new tree improvement technologies such as genomics, which have been shown to shorten breeding cycles and increase growth rate, wood quality, pest resistance and adaptation to climate change.

"This funding will enable the Verschuren Centre to help companies advance forestry biomass clean tech scale up and commercialization, thereby bringing new innovation to market and building diversification into the forestry sector."

The projects open up new opportunities within the Nova Scotia forestry sector, advance environmental, social and economic objectives and support the adoption of new ecological forestry practices.

The Trust is also entering into a partnership with Research Nova Scotia to develop a strategic forestry research agenda that is focused on accelerating the production, use and sustainability of forestry and biological resources.

The Trust is in the process of seeking vendors to facilitate sessions with forestry sector organizations who have expressed an interest in advancing sustainable forestry practices in Nova Scotia.

The $50 million trust was announced in February 2020 and may be used by companies, organizations or post-secondary institutions to bring innovation to the forestry and biological resources sector.


Nova Scotia’s forestry sector has an opportunity to be a leader in the bioeconomy and these projects advance the overall purpose of the trust and support both innovation and transition for this vital industry.”

Sandra McKenzie, chair, Forestry Innovation Transition Trust Board

This funding will enable the Verschuren Centre to help companies advance forestry biomass clean tech scale up and commercialization, thereby bringing new innovation to market and building diversification into the forestry sector.

Dr. Beth Mason, president, The Verschuren Centre

Working with our partners, we are committed to building a bioeconomy in Nova Scotia that is responsible, sustainable, and clean.

Rod Badcock, executive director, Nova Scotia Innovation Hub

Genome Atlantic is pleased to partner with the Atlantic Tree Improvement Council (AtlanTIC) in order help the forestry industry realize the economic and environmental benefits of tree improvement technologies. Genomics has recently become a key tool in tree improvement and has been successfully used in many other jurisdictions, and now, through the generous support of the Nova Scotia Forestry Innovation Trust, these tools will be widely available to benefit Nova Scotia producers.

Dr. Richard Donald, Genome Atlantic

Quick Facts:

  • 12 applications were received during the second intake round. One project was approved, Genome Atlantic, and three others are under consideration.
  • the trust will issue three calls for proposals in the 2021-22 fiscal year and the next round opens on April 1
  • the fund will be available until March 31, 2025 or when the funds have been spent
  • trustees are chair Sandra McKenzie, Douglas Hall and David Saxton

Additional Resources:

Government’s forestry sector support website is at:

More information about the Nova Scotia Forestry Innovation Trust is available at:

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