Food In Canada

CFIN awards $1.1M to five foodtech projects

By Food in Canada Staff   

Food Trends Canadian Food Innovation Network Cyberworks Robotics Editor pick Foodtech Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Relocalize Saskatchewan

The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) is investing $1,121,133 into five projects, valued at over $2 million through the organization’s FoodTech Next Program.

The winning projects are developing food safety, inventory management, and price analytics solutions that will be piloted in real-world conditions.


Funding: $249,998.00


Pilot partner: Confidential

App8, Ont., is automating the foodservice guest purchasing experience to tackle staff shortage bottlenecks and rising operating costs in the foodservice industry. Through this project, App8 is bridging the gaps in AI and robotic foodservice operations to streamline operating systems and improve consumer purchasing experiences with a highly integrated, frictionless ordering platform.

BetterCart Analytics

Funding: $151,597.00

Pilot partners: Fresh City Farms, Jordans Dorset Ryvita, Melitta Canada, and Distribution Canada

Saskatchewan-based BetterCart Analytics’ project will advance the price analytic sophistication and competitive intelligence capabilities of Canada’s food and beverage processors, manufacturers, and independent grocery retailers. BetterCart Analytics is bringing food sector stakeholders real-time and historical pricing data and analytics for every grocery product on retail shelves using machine learning and artificial intelligence. With a bank of over 5 billion product records currently and 38 million new pricing updates weekly from all e-commerce sites, BetterCart offers advanced analytics and competitive intelligence that enables companies to increase profit margins, operational efficiencies, and ROI.


Funding: $244,974.00

Pilot partner: Various quick-serve restaurants in P.E.I.

CleanBands, P.E.I., will pilot a hand washing compliance solution with an international brand partner to advance the development and commercialization of their proprietary and first-to-market patented food safety system. The system will be tested in real-world locations at an enterprise scale. The system enhances overall food safety by bringing visibility, accountability, and added awareness to hand washing food safety within multiple food industry sectors.

Cyberworks Robotics

Funding: $227,946.00

Pilot partner: Weston Foods

Manually operated tow tugs and forklifts are used extensively in F&B distribution and production centres to move produce in and out of these facilities. Labour shortages and wage inflation are crippling the ability of distribution centre operators and factories to assign staff to drive these machines. Cyberworks, Ont., has developed an autonomous self-driving technology that allows existing manual tow tugs and forklifts to become fully automated without changes to the facility infrastructure, thereby mitigating labour shortages, reducing operating costs, improving worker safety, and increasing operational efficiency through logistical workflow optimization. This project involves integrating their new self-driving technology onto a conventional manual tow tug system or forklift and pilot testing in a live F&B facility.

“Cyberworks Robotics is pleased to be working with CFIN to bring advanced self-driving autonomous vehicle technology to the Canadian food and beverage industry as a means of strengthening Canada’s food supply chain and food security,” said Vivek Burhanpurkar CEO, Cyberwork Robotics.


Funding: $246,618.00

Pilot partner: U.S. retailer/distributor

This project encompasses the deployment of the world’s first autonomous micro-factory for food and beverage at their launch customer’s facility. This system from Relocalize, Que., will produce packaged ice hyper-locally on-demand at their distribution centre, thereby eliminating upstream logistics and transportation costs. The result will prove that distributed production can reduce product costs by up to 30 per cent, while eliminating up to 90 per cent of transportation CO2. As part of the demonstration phase, the system will produce ice that will be distributed in up to 71 retail grocery stores.

These projects are the first to receive funding through CFIN’s FoodTech Next Program. To date, across all programs, CFIN has invested $8 million into 32 Canadian projects. In addition to the funding, the FoodTech Next Program creates supportive innovation communities around each company to help their project succeed and move their business to scale readiness.

“These projects are a great example of how FoodTech Next is sparking collaboration and innovation within the food industry. For foodtech companies, this program provides a fantastic opportunity to pilot their innovations and secure new business. The pilot partners and adopters have the chance to test and adopt game-changing innovations in a de-risked manner that have the potential to impact their bottom line. It’s a true win-win for everyone involved,” said Joseph Lake, CEO, Canadian Food Innovation Network.

FoodTech Next is a unique funding opportunity for early stage Canadian technology firms who seek to be part of, or sell to, the wider food industry. The program allows companies to demonstrate and pilot their innovation in operational environments to prove their solutions and validate the return on investment for the food sector. The overarching goal of FoodTech Next is to accelerate the commercialization of Canadian innovation by generating first demonstration opportunities. The program is administered by CFIN, which is supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund.

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