Government of Canada invests in digital food innovation hub to create a stronger food system in Canada

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Technological innovations have contributed enormously to the transformation of Canada’s agriculture sector and strengthened its competitiveness internationally. To help sustain today’s evolving global trade environment, the Government of Canada is making strategic investments that will harness digital and technological solutions to create a stronger, stable and more sustainable food system in Canada.

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $1.9 million to help the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) develop a digital food innovation hub, which will enhance connectivity among players in Canada’s food innovation ecosystem. This project aims to bring together the many individual components of Canada’s vast food ecosystem into an interactive online community, through the development and use of digital technology.

The digital food innovation hub will be available around the clock for businesses to access one-on-one mentorship as well as knowledge, research and innovation resources. A key component of this tool will be the role it plays in helping to identify and match entrepreneurs with technical expertise and partnerships to help spur growth. It will also serve as a collaboration space to share best practices and opportunities among the ecosystem.

The digital connectivity of this new platform leverages and strengthens the capacity of Canada’s entire food ecosystem to drive innovation, making the sector more competitive. It will help businesses break down barriers to improve collaboration and stimulate new opportunities for economic growth. Ultimately, this investment is enabling important connections that will help build a stronger, more sustainable food industry that is key to supporting Canada’s economic future.

Collaboration and partnerships are vital to ensuring Canada’s food industry remains strong to feed a growing population. The Government of Canada remains committed to advancing innovation and digital technologies to help the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector grow.

Quotes

“An impressive body of knowledge is accumulating across the agriculture and agri-food value chain. This investment in the Canadian Food Innovation Network makes it possible to establish links to easily share these resources so that each stakeholder benefits and becomes more efficient.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The Canadian Food Innovation Network is helping to bring together Canada’s food ecosystem through innovation and smart, collaborative partnerships that help to foster economic growth. This new digital hub will connect our homegrown companies with vital tools and supports they need to grow and compete both at home and abroad.”

– Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“The funding from AAFC is allowing us to solve one of the biggest challenges facing the Canadian food sector – the ability to find and connect with the right partners. This investment will catalyze innovation, facilitate collaboration, enable critical partnerships, and establish Canada as a dynamic food innovation community.”

– Joseph Lake, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Food Innovation Network

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), a $50.3 million, five-year investment to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.
  • Launched in 2021, the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to help grow Canada’s economy by catalyzing innovation in the food sector. CFIN helps to accelerate innovation by stimulating connections, collaborations and investments across Canada’s food ecosystem.
  • CFIN’s funding programs are supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in Canada’s most dynamic and innovative sectors.
  • In 2020, CASPP provided up to $165,000 to develop the strategy to launch the CFIN. The project helped to shape the network’s priorities, vision, governance structure and delivery platform. The strategy was developed in consultation with stakeholders to ensure broad support.