Food In Canada

Introducing Canada’s first regional cellular agriculture competition

December 7, 2021   by Food in Canada staff

With a potential result of food innovations that will create billions in economic value for Canada and environmental benefit for the world, the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) and Ontario Genomics announce AcCELLerate-ON, Canada’s first regional cellular agriculture competition.

Designed to spark food innovation, this $700,000 program will support the research and development of viable food production methods such as cell culture, precision fermentation, tissue engineering, scaffolding and hybridizing production capabilities.

“With this first regional cellular agriculture competition, CFIN and Ontario Genomics are challenging traditional production methods to find new innovative ways to bring food to the table, to the benefit of the environment and all Canadians,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.

In addition to proteins, enzymes, flavour molecules, vitamins, pigments and fats that can be incorporated with existing products to create new value-added goods, cellular agriculture food innovation can create a wide variety of foods produced through precision fermentation (i.e. dairy, eggs, chocolate, honey and vanilla) as well as cultivated food products (i.e. red meat, poultry, seafood, pet food and others).

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“Because of recent advances in food science and bioengineering, we’re at a point where cell-multiplier techniques may offer the world a viable avenue to reduce its environmental footprint while producing additional food to sustain growing global populations,” says Dana McCauley, chief experience officer at CFIN. “Ontario Genomics’ national report on the opportunities for Canada in cellular agriculture food production is persuasive and identifies that if Canada acts quickly to find ways to use new and existing technologies to build capacity, it can become a global leader in this field.”

​​​​“This competition is an exciting boost to ensure innovative cellular agriculture technologies get closer to market in Ontario and the world,” says Bettina Hamelin, PharmD, president and CEO at Ontario Genomics. “Canada has an up to $12.5 billion a year food innovation opportunity on the horizon. Making sure promising companies and academics receive the right support at the right time can catalyze Ontario’s leadership and create over 140,000 jobs nationwide.”

CFIN and Ontario Genomics are issuing an “Open Call for Applications” for genomics and engineering biology-enabled proposals, including those in the social sciences, to solve industry and other end-user identified challenges within and across the Ontario cellular agriculture, food and beverage ecosystems. This program is open to Ontario-led innovators and collaborative teams (i.e. teams comprising industry, academia, industry-academia, industry-industry or industry-other) that are in the position to address the identified challenge and implement the outcomes from the project.

Applications are accepted until February 28, 2022. The 12-18 month project will start on May 1, 2022.

For more details visit cfin-rcia.ca and attend the December 14th AcCELLerate-ON online info session.


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