With a goal of helping the food and beverage industry produce nutritious and innovative products for Canadian consumers, George Brown College has launched a world-class applied research and industry facility in Toronto.
Housed within George Brown’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, the multifunctional facility aims to provide access to advanced learning and applied research spaces, as well as opportunities for product development, including prototyping and commercialization support.
“This facility represents why we are one of Canada’s foremost leaders in food and beverage research, innovation, and education for industry,” says Robert Luke, vice-president, Research and Innovation, George Brown College. “Not only does this expansion create the conditions for companies to succeed, it also enriches the learning of students and prepares them to become the highly qualified and skilled leaders the growing food and beverage sector needs.”
This facility was made possible in part by a $7-million investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as well as matching George Brown College, donor and industry contributions.
The facility is expected to support a diverse group of customers, including all types of restaurants, wine and alcoholic beverage companies, food and beverage processing and manufacturing organizations, foodservice companies, hospitals and other research facilities.
In addition to the celebrated Chefs’ House restaurant on the first floor, the four-storey, 18,000-sq.-ft. building will also house the Industry Engagement and Interaction Facility – a simulation lab on the second floor that will be used for sensory evaluation, product launches and commercialization, and for special events – and the Beverage Research Lab, a beverage research theatre on the third floor that encompasses a world-class wine lab, which will be available for events such as product and beverage launches, training and testing.
“We’re excited that businesses like ours will have the opportunity to leverage George Brown’s extensive applied research expertise and resources,” says Philippe Roireau, founder of Zpirit Infused Water, a Toronto-based company that makes flavoured beverages low in sugar and calories. “We came to George Brown College to optimize our processes and streamline production, and with the expert help we received, we’ve been able to expand our product lines and promote a healthy lifestyle to consumers worldwide.”
Starting in early 2016, the college will also provide expanded commercialization capacity on the fourth floor for its existing Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt), and will be constructing new learning and applied research spaces that include a Large Quantity Bake Lab, a Beverage Research Lab and a Large Quantity Culinary Lab.