CFIN Announces Food Innovation Challenge Call for Proposals focused on Supply Chain Digitization

By CFIN Newsdesk posted 06-20-2022 10:24


The last 36 months have demonstrated significant weaknesses in global, national, provincial, and regional supply chains.

  • COVID-19 resulted in the movement restrictions of workers, changes in demand of consumers, closure of food production facilities, restricted food trade policies, and financial pressures in the food supply chain.

  • Russia’s war on Ukraine has exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains and pushed nations across the globe to push additional grain, corn, and fertilizer supplies into world markets to make up for the disruption of more than a quarter of the worlds grain trade.

  • Restaurants reopening post COVID-19 closures also felt significant supply chain impacts, with increased food costs and shortages of main ingredients, such as chicken and corn. Supply lines are jammed, which has created pockets of scarcity and added costs that are eventually passed on to consumers.

  • A recent National Restaurant Association survey revealed that 95% of restaurants in the US had experienced considerable supply delays or shortages in recent months, which is concerning.

  • Rise of omni-channel sales has also pushed fulfillment capabilities to the maximum at all points throughout the supply chain.

  • Channel mismatches as consumer buying trends shifted from restaurants to in-home eating.

As a result of these challenges, CFIN is issuing their Spring 2022 Food Innovation Challenge Call with a theme of Digitization and digitalization solutions that create safer, more secure, and more agile food supply chains.

Digitization and digitalization of the supply chain enables food sector resilience with new tools to address the increasing volatility in customer requirements and supply availability, while also addressing overall efficiency improvement expectations and food safety needs. With Supply Chain 4.0 solutions, Canadian firms can move products faster, with more flexibility, granularity, accuracy and ultimately with less risk of disruptions.

Key Program Priorities:

As a result of these challenges and the opportunities presented by Supply Chain 4.0 technologies, this CFIN-led call is dedicated to the research, development, and demonstration of digital and digitalized solutions for Canada’s food supply chain. Key program priorities include:

  • Data capture and management
  • Predictive analytics and demand planning
  • Automation of the physical flow of goods
  • Digital order management
  • Driving improved capacity utilization in food processing
  • Food safety and traceability throughout the supply chain

All projects should:

  • Address the food supply chain from farm-gate to consumer’s plate
  • Result in cross-firm solutions
  • Offer accessible solutions to small and medium sized enterprises

All applicants must be CFIN members and submit their application online at:

Call Timelines:

Letter of intent application opens –June 1, 2022

Info Session – June 7, 12-1 EST

Letters of intent due: July 8, 2022

Full proposals due: September 16, 2022

Projects start: November 1, 2022

Projects complete - no later than Mar 31, 2025

More Program Details are available here.