News Release

Investing in the future of food with $900k+ in funding for cellular agriculture

AcCELLerate-ON, Canada’s first regional cellular agriculture competition, funds four cutting edge cellular agriculture-focused food and beverage projects

Toronto, May 3, 2022 —The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) and Ontario Genomics have announced the recipients of more than $900K in funding through their AcCELLerate-ON competition. AcCELLerate-ON is Canada’s first regional cellular agriculture competition, supporting the research and development of novel and innovative viable food production methods with the intent to drive economic growth and Ontario’s global leadership in this new and sustainable way to produce food.

The four genomics and engineering biology projects were chosen for their potential to drive food innovation, address industry opportunities, solve challenges, and benefit the cellular agriculture ecosystem and food and beverage industry in Ontario.

The AcCELLerate-ON funding recipients are:

  • Ardra Inc.: developing fermentation-based production of heme as a natural flavour ingredient

  • Cell Ag Tech: scaling up the manufacturing of fish muscle stem cells from a 2D to 3D culture system with proteomic assessments of the cells

  • Evolved (formerly Caro Meats): creating cultivated pork belly that is identical to conventional pork belly

  • The University of Toronto, Dr. Michael Garton in collaboration with MyoPalate: establishing the foundational tools for cultivated pork production

An ever-increasing global population, alongside the negative effects of climate change on food production, will lead to an expected 76 per cent increase in food requirements by 2050. To meet this demand, current food production methods must be supplemented by novel and innovative food production techniques.

Cellular agriculture encompasses several innovative approaches that use cell cultures, tissue-engineering, or precision fermentation-based techniques to create a variety of products that have been traditionally produced through conventional production mechanisms. These cutting-edge technologies offer a unique opportunity to help meet this global food demand while providing significant environmental and economic benefits.

According to the 2021 Ontario Genomics report, Cellular Agriculture, Canada’s $12.5 Billion Food Opportunity[1], Canada has a significant opportunity on the horizon with scenarios suggesting a $7.5 billion a year industry and up to 86,000 jobs created by 2030. Longer term, the industry has the potential to reach $12.5 billion a year with the creation of up to 142,000 jobs.

The successful projects are jointly funded by Ontario Genomics and CFIN and will be completed within 12-18 months.


“Developing a cellular agriculture ecosystem is essential to expanding Canada’s ability to meet the growing food demand around the globe and to accelerate innovation in the food production sector. Through the AcCELLerate-ON program, we are building a stronger, more sustainable future for Canadians.”

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

“It is very clear that cellular agriculture is garnering the interest and dollars of the global investor community. Today’s announcement will help Ontario’s most innovative food start-ups and researchers get to the next level by supporting product development, job creation and revenue generation. By leveraging our existing strengths, this partnership between CFIN and Ontario Genomics is a critical step to growing Ontario’s cellular agriculture ecosystem.”

– Dr. Bettina Hamelin

President and CEO, Ontario Genomics

“Transformative innovation is the only way we can solve global food challenges. These four homegrown projects represent a unique and sustainable approach to feeding a growing global population while demonstrating the potential of Canadian food innovation.”

– Joseph Lake

CEO, Canadian Food Innovation Network

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 is a not-for-profit organization leading the application of genomics and engineering biology-based solutions to drive economic growth, improved quality of life, and global leadership for Ontario. We play a critical role in advancing genomics projects and programs across the province by supporting the development of proposals, helping researchers 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.


Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN): Saskia Brussaard, Crave PR,

Ontario Genomics: Polina Martins, Director of Communications, Ontario Genomics at


CFIN Funding Opportunities

Ontario Genomics Funding Opportunities


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