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Life Sciences meets Food Innovation:

Introducing Canada’s first regional food innovation with cellular agriculture competition

30 November 2021 – With a potential result of food innovations that will create billions in economic value for Canada and environmental benefit for the world, Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) and Ontario Genomics today announced AcCELLerate-ON, Canada’s first regional cellular agriculture competition. Designed to spark food innovation, this $700,000 program will support the research and development of viable food production methods such as cell culture, precision fermentation, tissue engineering, scaffolding and hybridizing production capabilities.

With this first regional cellular agriculture competition, CFIN and Ontario Genomics are challenging traditional production methods to find new innovative ways to bring food to the table, to the benefit of the environment and all Canadians.”  

 

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

The Opportunity of Food Innovation with Cellular Agriculture

 

In addition to proteins, enzymes, flavour molecules, vitamins, pigments and fats, that can be incorporated with existing products to create new value-added goods, cellular agriculture food innovation can create a wide variety of foods produced through precision fermentation (i.e., dairy, eggs, chocolate, honey, vanilla) as well as cultivated food products (i.e., red meat, poultry, seafood, pet food and others).

Because of recent advances in food science and bioengineering, we’re at a point where cell-multiplier techniques may offer the world a viable avenue to reduce its environmental footprint while producing additional food to sustain growing global populations,” says Dana McCauley, Chief Experience Officer at CFIN. “Ontario Genomics’ national report on the opportunities for Canada in cellular agriculture food production is persuasive and identifies that if Canada acts quickly to find ways to use new and existing technologies to build capacity, it can become a global leader in this field.

"This competition is an exciting boost to ensure innovative cellular agriculture technologies get closer to market in Ontario and the world,” says Bettina Hamelin, PharmD., President and CEO at Ontario Genomics. “Canada has an up to $12.5 billion a year food innovation opportunity on the horizon. Making sure promising companies and academics receive the right support at the right time can catalyze Ontario’s leadership and create over 140,000 jobs nationwide."

 

The Competition

CFIN and Ontario Genomics are issuing an “Open Call for Applications” for genomics[1] and engineering biology-enabled proposals, including those in the social sciences, to solve industry and other end-user[2] identified challenges within and across the Ontario cellular agriculture, food and beverage ecosystems. This program is open to Ontario-led innovators and collaborative teams (i.e., teams comprising industry, academia, industry-academia, industry-industry, industry-other) that are in the position to address the identified challenge and implement the outcomes from the project.

 

Key dates:

  • Applications and Program Guide available: November 30, 2021

  • Online Info Session: December 14, 2021

  • Applications accepted until February 28, 2022

  • Project start date: May 1, 2022

  • Project duration: 12 to 18 months

 

For more details visit cfin-rcia.ca and attend our December 14th AcCELLerate-ON online info session.

About Canadian Food Innovation Network

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 supports that allow food innovators to grow their businesses.  We connect Canadian food companies of all kinds not just to fresh insights, ideas and technologies that elevate business performance, but also to each other so that they can collaborate and grow together.

 

About Ontario Genomics

Established in 2000, Ontario Genomics (OG) is a not-for-profit organization leading the application of genomics-based solutions to drive economic growth, improved quality of life, and global leadership for Ontario. Ontario Genomics plays a vital role in advancing projects and programs by supporting the development of their proposals, helping them access diverse funding sources, and finding the right industry partners to take this research out of the lab to apply it to the world’s most pressing challenges. Since its inception, Ontario Genomics has raised more than $1.27 billion for genomics applied research in Ontario and directly supported more than 9,100 trainees and jobs. OG supports 110+ active projects, 500+ impactful partnerships and has secured $1.34 billion in follow-on investments.

[1] Genomics includes the reading, writing and editing of DNA and related disciplines e.g., epigenomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics.

[2] Industry and other end-user include for-profit companies, and other users that can implement results from the projects for the benefit of Ontario.

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Media contacts:

Andrea Murray, Canadian Food Innovation Network, andrea@cfin-rcia.ca

Polina Martins, Ontario Genomics, pmartins@ontariogenomics.ca

Related links:

Cellular Agriculture – Canada’s $12.5 Billion Opportunity in Food Innovation