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Dr. David Miller and JDI Honoured for Outstanding University-Industry Partnership and Ground-Breaking Discovery


OTTAWA - J.D. Irving, Limited and Dr. David Miller of Carleton University will be honoured among Canada’s top researchers this evening by Governor General David Johnston. 

 David Miller
 JDI and Dr. David Miller of Carleton University receive Synergy Award for Innovation.


Taking place at Rideau Hall, the official ceremony will celebrate some of Canada’s top researchers in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. The prestigious national prize will also be presented by Dr. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, and B. Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Greg Adams, Manager of Research and Development for J.D. Irving, Limited and Dr. David Miller will accept a Synergy Award for Innovation for their collaborative research on protecting trees from spruce budworm.

From research to discovery, this work has resulted in several international patents and commercialization at a new state-of-the-art lab in Sussex New Brunswick.

Miller has studied the spruce budworm for over 25 years and has been working with J.D. Irving, Limited to reduce the impact of future epidemics. Miller and collaborators found that endophytes, fungi that occur naturally in the needles of conifers, are important to improving the tolerance of trees to spruce budworm. Some endophytes produce natural toxins that slow the growth of the spruce budworm insect. J.D. Irving, Limited’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Sussex, N.B. will produce inoculum for up to 30 million seedlings per year from nurseries in eastern Canada.

“As a public scientist, this represents a great example of getting research out of the lab to benefit the economy,” said Miller. “Combining the skills of biological chemistry at the university, and seedling production technologies and tree genetics at J.D. Irving, a hidden aspect of life in the forest has been uncovered. I believe that this understanding will benefit future generations of Canadians who want a sustainable, well-managed forest industry.”

“JDI is honoured to be recognized by NSERC for our collaboration with Dr. David Miller,” said Adams. “We’re focused on sustainable forestry management and really appreciate opportunities to partner with universities on research to improve our forestry practices and generate growth in jobs, investment and forest health.”

“We are at a time where an exciting, dynamic and optimistic future is possible for Canada,” said Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President of NSERC. “Research excellence, the willingness to probe the unexpected and unexplained, and increased diversity in the research enterprise will be key drivers in this process. This year’s NSERC award winners suggest that this future may be closer than we think.  Each of them exemplifies the incredible brain trust that NSERC invests in on behalf of Canada and Canadians.” 



Mary Keith   
Vice President, Communications
J.D. Irving, Limited  
Office: 506.632.5122   
Cell: 506.650.8209

Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1391

Camille Martel
Office of the Minister of Science 
Tel.: 343-291-2700

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada 
Tel.: 613-943-7618

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