GUELPH, ON, Under Embargo until August 3, 2022—The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) has announced an investment of $338,000 into four projects valued at nearly $700,000 through the organization’s Innovation Booster program.
The Innovation Booster funding recipients are:
Project Title: From purees to powders: Using rescued foods for healthy soups
Project Lead: Trendi Tech Inc. (Burnaby, BC)
Description: This project will demonstrate new avenues for repurposing ingredients through the evolution of The Smoothie Machine -- a healthy and automated vending solution that will offer fresh fruit smoothies and hot soup options to create a full circle economy utilizing upcycled fruits and vegetables.
Benefit to Canadians: Reducing food waste through upcycling improves access to more sustainable and local food options for Canadian businesses and consumers.
Project Title: Nutrimeals Personalized Nutrition Platform -- Beta Prototype Development
Project Lead: Nutrimeals (Calgary, Alberta)
Description: This project will advance the competitiveness of Canada’s food business by developing a platform which leverages AI to provide healthy, ready-to-eat meals that are customized to each customer’s dietary needs. By digitizing the e-commerce platform and logistics model, Nutrimeals will be able to seamlessly deliver hyper localized fulfillment across Canada.
Benefit to Canadians: Improving and expanding access to precision nutrition and ready-to-eat meals ensures Canadians can enjoy a more accessible and personalized approach to their diet.
Project Title: Automated Solid State Fermentation Incubator for Canadian pulse-based Tempeh products
Project Lead: Henry's Tempeh (Kitchener, ON)
Description: This project seeks to fully develop an automated turn-key tempeh incubator system that can easily scale to produce industrial quantities of tempeh, with a focus on fermenting Canadian pulses into tempeh products.
Benefit to Canadians: This innovation highlights how automation can improve utilization and preservation of important Canadian crops through the conversion into value added nutritious food products that could not occur otherwise.
Project Title: BioTagging grain for transformative digitization and traceability in commodity food supply chains
Project Lead: Index Biosystems Inc. (Toronto, ON)
Description: Index Biosystems Inc. uses biotechnology to turn baker’s yeast into microscopic barcodes called BioTags, which create a secure link between a product and its supply chain data. In this pilot project, Index is partnering with industry to optimize an automated BioTag application system to tag and trace grain throughout the supply chain.
Benefit to Canadians: More effective and accurate supply chain tracking provides Canadians with greater confidence about their food and its journey while enhancing food safety, traceability and sustainability across the food value chain.
The Innovation Booster, which is administered by CFIN and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, provides flexible and rapid support to Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as they address food innovation challenges or technical hurdles that have created barriers to achieving their commercialization goals.
CFIN received 27 applications from organizations based in 16 cities across Canada including Port Coquitlam, Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener, Quebec City, and Halifax.
The next round of Innovation Booster funding opens July 20, 2022, and applications are due by September 12, 2022. The intake will focus on projects addressing Food Ecosystem Sustainability, which includes development and innovation across these areas:
- food waste reduction
- higher value recovery
- circularity and upcycling
- green and smart packaging
- more efficient use of inputs including energy, water and carbon
Applicants must be members of the Canadian Food Innovation Network. Membership is free and open to anyone in the Canadian food sector.