Innovation and Partnerships

For over 125 years, the University of Guelph and the Ontario government have worked together to support, and help shape, the future of the province's agri-food industry. From the early development of improved farming techniques to new sources of bioenergy today, the partnership's legacy of innovation has meant more economic activity, stronger environmental protection and improved animal and human health in Ontario and around the world. Having the long-term funding required to build a critical mass of expertise is one of the keys to the partnership's vitality and productivity, along with a unique combination of highly skilled people, equipment and facilities.

The OMAFRA-U of G Partnership results in many benefits to Ontarians and people around the world through research and innovation in:

  • Safer and higher-quality food
  • A cleaner environment
  • Better protection from plant and animal disease
  • Industry profitability and growth
  • Stronger rural communities

The agreement between the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, attracts a critical mass of research expertise to the University and the city. The ministry's direct contribution has been increased in 2008/2009 to $59.1 million with additional one-time funding bringing the total annual ministry contribution to $76.1 million. For more information about the agreement see the OMAFRA-U of G Impact Study 2007


Partnership research is at the heart of a dynamic, agri-food innovation sector made up of thousands of farms, farm service providers, agricultural technology and biological companies and research facilities. The Guelph agri-food research and innovation cluster contributes 6000 jobs to Ontario's economy.


Innovation is a key aspect of the OMAFRA-U of G Partnership.  The people of Ontario have benefited tremendously over the years from:

  • Research breakthroughs such as omega-3 eggs and DHA milk
  • A safe food supply that protects Ontarians' health and the province's reputation in global markets
  • New, hardier crops and the latest production techniques that improve farmers' bottom lines and consumers' food choices

 The Partnership funding also helps to explore new opportunities, such as:

  • Car parts made from plant materials
  • Alternative fuels
  • Hardier crops
  • New, nutritionally enhanced foods
  • Better protection from diseases
  • Faster responses to animal health emergencies