CFIN <> Ontario Genomics

The Partnerships

With a goal of sparking innovation in a new frontier of food, CFIN and Ontario Genomics partnered to fund and launch AcCELLerate-ON -- Canada’s first regional competition for cellular food. Cellular food is the science of creating food products and ingredients through precision fermentation and cell cultivation that is predicted to represent $7.5 billion annually and support up to 86,000 jobs in Canada by 2030, according to research by Ontario Genomics.

The AcCELLerate-ON competition invited Ontario-led innovators and collaborative teams to submit genomics and engineering biology-focused proposals for research and development of sustainable food production methods.

The collaboration between CFIN and Ontario Genomics was inspired by Ontario Genomics’ report – Cellular Agriculture: Canada’s $12.5M Opportunity in Food Innovation. The report includes extensive stakeholder input and an economic analysis that identifies cellular agriculture as a future $12.5 billion a year industry that can create142,000 jobs in Canada. OG’s recognized leadership in genomics innovation was a perfect complement to CFIN’s efforts to stimulate innovation across the Canadian food sector.

Companies Supported

Four companies were selected as recipients of more than $900,000 in funding through the AcCELLerate-ON competition.

Ardra Inc., Toronto ON: a synthetic biology company that is developing fermentation-based production of heme, an essential molecule found in every living plant and animal, as a natural flavour ingredient.

CELL AG TECH, Toronto ON: one of the world’s few cellular agriculture companies focused on seafood, working on scaling up manufacturing of fish muscle cells from a 2D to a 3D culture system.

Evolved (formerly Caro Meats), Toronto ON: a cultivated meat start-up that is developing a cultivated pork belly identical to the conventional product of live animal origin.

Dr. Michael Garton in collaboration with Myo Palate, Toronto ON: an academic-industry partnership between a molecular engineering professor and a cultivated meat company to develop the foundational tools for cultivated pork production.

Market Adoption/ Global Opportunity

Cellular food is a new field for food manufacturers in Canada and around the world. As identified by the Ontario Genomics report, the market potential in Canada for this new genre of products is significant. And, if Canada can establish itself as a leader in cellular food, this opens up the world to Canadian businesses who wish to either sell these types of food products or export Canadian bio economy-based skills and technology. 

Executive Perspective

Transformative innovation is the only way we will be able to solve global food challenges and the partnership between CFIN and Ontario Genomics to establish the first-ever regional cellular food competition in Canada is an example of the type of unique collaborations the food industry needs to develop capacity and knowledge to meet global food product opportunities.

Dana McCauley, CEO, Canadian Food Innovation Network

It is very clear that cellular agriculture is garnering the interest and dollars of the global investor community. AcCELLerate-ON 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

Cellular food represents a unique and lucrative opportunity for Canadian food innovators. As this nascent industry takes on greater prominence in the food industry, Canadian companies have the potential to be first to market with innovative new products that will resonate with environmentally and ethically aware consumers across the globe.

Julie Daigle, Regional Innovation Director (Quebec), Canadian Food Innovation Network