Toronto, May 31, 2022—The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) today announced an investment of more than $3M into five projects valued at nearly $7.3M through the organization’s Food Innovation Challenge and Innovation Booster programs.
The Food Innovation Challenge funding recipients are:
● SMART KITCHENS: Gastronomous Technologies Inc. (Oakville, Ontario), partnering with Recipe Unlimited and Sodexo Canada Limited, will receive $1,919,655 to fund the development of smart/connected kitchen equipment ranging from food ingredient preparation to cold storage to accurate automated portioning/dispensing of those ingredients.
● ANTIMICROBIALS FOR LONGER SHELF LIFE: Laboratoire Innodal Inc. (Quebec City, Quebec), partnering with Dempsey Corporation and E. Gagnon et Fils Limitée, will receive $943,592 to increase the shelf life of food with natural and clean label antimicrobials, as an alternative to traditional chemical preservatives.
The Innovation Booster funding recipients are:
● COMPOSTABLE FRUIT LABELS: Ag-Tronic Control Systems Inc. (Lakeshore, Ontario) will receive $100,000 to finish the development of globally certified-compostable pressure-sensitive label materials (PSMs) as well as the final printed PLU labels.
● FUNCTIONAL SEAWEED COMPOUNDS: Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds Ltd. (Surrey, B.C.) will receive $93,304 to scale up the extraction, activation and utilization of vitamin B12 and other water-soluble functional compounds found in Pacific seaweeds.
● ANTIMICROBIAL SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE: Groupe Foodarom Inc. (St. Hubert, Quebec) will receive $99,834 to develop and validate a solution composed of one or more natural ingredients with antimicrobial properties to eliminate multi-resistant fungal contaminants that are often found in concentrated fruit syrups and purees.
The Food Innovation Challenge is a unique funding opportunity for Canadian food industry collaborators who want to spearhead transformative improvements that will propel the food sector forward and generate significant economic impact. The Food Innovation Challenge prioritizes projects focused on smart product and process development, food ecosystem sustainability, and agile and safe supply chains.
The Innovation Booster provides flexible and rapid support to Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as they address food innovation challenges or technical hurdles that have created barriers to achieving their commercialization goals.
Both programs are administered by CFIN, which is supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund.
The Innovation Booster is open for submission, closing July 7, 2022.
The Food Innovation Challenge has launched its second call for proposals, focusing on digitization and digitalization solutions that create safer, more secure, and more agile food supply chains with letters of intent being accepted June 1 to July 7, 2022.
Applicants must be members of the Canadian Food Innovation Network. Membership is free and open to anyone in the Canadian food sector.
“By investing in breakthrough and transformative innovation, CFIN stimulates collaboration across the food sector and enables high-potential Canadian food innovators to advance past technical hurdles that create barriers to commercialization. This first round of investment programming will help Canadian players in the food sector compete and lead on the global stage.”
— Joseph Lake, CEO, Canadian Food Innovation Network
“By investing in collaborative and innovative projects, the network is helping Canada to remain a global leader in sustainable food production. Through CFIN’s inaugural Food Innovation Challenge and Innovation Booster competitions, we are building a stronger and more sustainable food sector that will help feed Canadians now and into the future.”
— The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
FUNDING RECIPIENT QUOTES
“The funding from CFIN will allow Gastronomous to develop and commercialize much needed and innovative automation solutions for commercial kitchens with some of Canada’s and the world’s largest foodservice companies. Our team brings a unique approach to solving the most painful problems of the restaurant industry.”
— Kevork Sevadjian, CEO & Co-Founder, Gastronomous Technologies Inc.
“This funding will allow us to develop a natural antimicrobial that will significantly increase the shelf life of fresh foods sensitive to microbiological flora spoilage. This clean label technology has the potential to revolutionize the food processing industry.”
— Laurent Dallaire, Ing, M.Sc., CEO, Laboratoire Innodal Inc.
“The CFIN funding will help us to prove that our newly developed compostable fruit labels will meet global compostable packaging standards and food safety regulations around the world.”
— Derek Sorrell, Operations Manager, Ag-Tronic Control Systems Inc.
“The support from CFIN has allowed us to jump-start the commercialization process of our Ph.D. study findings, allowing us to deliver our unique solution in a meaningful way. Too often, fantastic findings are simply studies filed away; our mission is to apply the science and bring it to life on a large scale!”
— Majid Hajibeigy, Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds Ltd.
“With the financial support from CFIN, Foodarom will offer to all Canadians natural solutions to reduce food waste.”
— Guillaume Brault, R&D Scientific Leader, Foodarom Inc.
The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2021 to spark innovation in the food sector. Supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, CFIN staff and funding programs provide the support that allows food innovators to grow their businesses. CFIN connects Canadian food companies of all kinds to fresh insights, ideas and technologies that elevate business performance and to each other so that they can collaborate and grow together.