GUELPH, ON, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 — The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) is awarding $3,159,379 to two foodtech projects that are creating resiliency within Canada’s food sector through cellular food innovation. The projects are valued at over $6M and are funded through the organization’s Food Innovation Challenge Program.
The Food Innovation Challenge funding recipients are:
Project Title: Scaling Cultivated Pork Production Using Embryonic Stem Cells
Project Partners: Getinge Canada Ltd.
Myo Palate has successfully addressed a significant production challenge within the cultivated meat sector. By harnessing pig embryonic stem cells (ESCs), known for their perpetual vitality, the Ontario-based foodtech company has overcome the obstacle of muscle cell maturation. This innovation ensures sustained muscle fiber development, as these ESCs and their offspring are cultivated without encountering cellular fatigue. Collaborating with researchers from the University of Toronto, Myo Palate is now applying established machine learning algorithms to refine cell growth conditions, solidifying the effectiveness of this groundbreaking approach.
Myo Palate's efforts extend beyond transforming cultivated meat production, as they establish Canada as a global leader in sustainable protein advancements. With a robust biological framework in place, the partnership between Myo Palate and Getinge Canada will engineer a bespoke bioreactor process, poised to facilitate large-scale cultivated pork manufacturing. This collaboration exemplifies Canada's capacity to steer the trajectory of global food production, merging forefront scientific endeavors with environmentally conscious methods.
Project Title: Automation and Digital Twin Integration for Precision Fermentation Scale Up of Cell-Based Food Ingredients
Project Partners: Liven Proteins, NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics, Material Futures Lab, Dispersa, and Mara Renewables
The Verschuren Centre is collaborating with pioneering technology SMEs to harness synthetic biology for advancing cell-based food solutions through precision fermentation. These SMEs specialize in producing essential food molecules such as flavors, binders, pigments, proteins, oils, and polymers from natural sources. The Verschuren Centre's groundbreaking endeavor involves constructing a unique 10,000L precision fermentation facility – which will be the first of its kind in Canada -- to facilitate seamless progression for companies from pilot to commercial production. This capacity-building effort offers accessible open access, expediting process scaling and product purification for food manufacturers.
By integrating advanced automation, digital twin technology, and machine learning, the initiative focuses on optimizing two critical facets: swift fermentation process enhancement and maximized efficiency in material inputs. This approach empowers companies to streamline their market entry, reduce costs, and establish a resilient Canadian supply chain.
This funding call targeted collaborative proposals focused on the development of cellular food products or supporting technology, with the aim of advancing food resiliency and Canadian leadership in this emerging sector. A 2021 report from Ontario Genomics identified cellular food as a potential $12.5B opportunity for Canada if we can build the capacity and infrastructure required to biomanufacture animal proteins, flavours, and other foods.
Since launching in 2021, CFIN has received more than 300 funding applications from innovative companies across the country and has approved $13.5M in funding to 50 projects.
"Funding and supporting cellular food innovation is a critical stride towards sustainable nourishment, bridging the gap between growing demand and limited resources. These two projects are prime examples of how Canada is spearheading a new era of food innovation on the world stage, showcasing how collaboration, novel ideas, and responsible science can redefine how we sustainably feed our growing global population.”
CEO, Canadian Food Innovation Network
"The Canadian food industry continues to distinguish itself by developing innovative solutions that provide Canadians with high-quality foods. Breakthroughs like these highlight the ingenuity of our agri-food sector to pursue viable and ecologically mindful methods."
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
" The CFIN Food Innovation Challenge comes at a time in which novel approaches to the production of cultivated meats are needed. Myo Palate and our project partners are thrilled by this opportunity to work together and scale our innovative approach. Through our bioprocess, we will challenge the status quo in cellular manufacturing and bring Canada to the forefront of cultivated meats.”
"Bio-manufacturing companies, particularly cellular agriculture and therapeutics require three key factors for success: capacity, a highly trained workforce, and investment. Adding innovative tools to accelerate the path through scale is vital to getting more companies through faster, all the while advancing their own design engineering for plant buildout in Canada. At the Verschuren Centre we are committed to accelerating de-risking of the path to market and supporting innovative companies to scale their disruptive technologies cost-effectively by providing them with the advanced tools, technical capacity, capital efficiency, and a supportive innovation network."
CEO, The Verschuren Centre Inc.
CANADIAN CELLULAR FOOD STATS
Canadians import $2.5B in vanilla, coffee, and chocolate which comes to our market across thousands of kilometres by boat, plane, rail, and truck. These are all high-potential products for precision fermentation and build on the product replacement opportunity found in cultivated meat products. The opportunity is not just in proteins, but a wider category of cellular foods.
Boston Consulting Group and Blue Horizon predict that products produced by precision fermentation and cellular cultivation, with the right support, could capture 22% of the alternative protein market by 2035.
It's estimated that Canada could create 86,000 jobs in cellular foods by 2030 and generate $7.5B in revenue for industry [Ontario Genomics].
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 Food Innovation Challenge is administered by CFIN, which is supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund.
The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) is a national organization that’s stimulating transformative and transferrable innovation within the Canadian food sector. CFIN has over 3,500 members from across the food value chain -- including manufacturers, processors, distributors, operators, tech companies, funders, and innovators – and connects the Canadian food ecosystem to fresh insights, ideas, and technologies to grow their business and increase their innovation capacity. CFIN’s free membership includes access to exclusive funding programs, five Regional Innovation Directors, and YODL.
CFIN was established in 2021 and is supported by Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund and Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program.
Canadian Food Innovation Network