In April Phytola received notification that its project aimed at improving camelina as a Canadian oilseed crop was approved for funding under the federal Mitacs Elevate Program.
The CamOil project involves a consortium of Canadian and German scientists, each concentrating on different aspects of camelina development. Phytola will use its expertise in lipid biosynthesis to increase the oil content of camelina seeds.
Funding from the federal Mitacs Elevate Program will provide support for a new post-doctoral fellow recruited for the project, Dr. Geetha Ramakrishnan. Commenting on the opportunity, Geetha remarked that, “Working to improve oilseed crops fulfills my ambition to use my scientific knowledge to deliver something that will benefit society. I am thrilled to join the Phytola team under [Scientific Director] Dr. Randall Weselake’s leadership and I am grateful to the federal Mitacs Elevate Program and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures for their support of this project.”
The project also extends Phytola’s long-standing collaboration with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures and Dr. Saleh Shah. Geetha will share her time between Phytola and AITF.
The ultimate goal of the project is to further the development of camelina for bioindustrial uses, providing green chemistry substitutes for petrochemical feedstocks and a new value-added crop for Alberta producers.