The Canadian Food Innovation Network announced this morning that it is investing into six projects, including one from BC
More than $500,000 in funding, issued through the organization’s Innovation Booster program, is targeted for “innovative solutions that have the potential to reduce emissions, increase domestic production, and establish Canada as a global leader in new and emerging food sectors,” according to Canadian Food Innovation Network CEO Joseph Lake.
“These six projects are prime examples of the breadth of exciting food innovation that’s happening here in Canada,” the chief executive believes.
Among the funding recipients are Radish Cooperative from Montreal, as well as Plan Automation, Forward Water Technologies, Escarpment Laboratories, and Suppli from Ontario.
“Our government continues to collaborate with the Canadian Food Innovation Network to invest in projects that help to build a stronger and more sustainable food industry,” stated The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This new funding will help Canadian food companies to be more efficient, create good jobs for the country and ensure Canada remains a global leader in sustainable food production.”
The BC project receiving investment is Cascadia Seaweed. Located in Sidney near Victoria, Cascadia Seaweed seeks to extend the shelf-life of fresh seaweed while developing and scaling processes that can help Canada produce more value-added innovative seaweed products for international markets.
“As pressure mounts over arable land and populations continue to rise, we must recognize opportunities within the Blue Economy to produce products while adapting to climate change,” says Susan Levang, the company’s vice president of Brand Operations.
With no agricultural land requirements, seaweed presents a sustainable food crop opportunity with growing global demand, according to Levang. Canada currently plays a small role in the global export of these products, but as the seaweed sector continues to mature, Canada has the potential to become an industry leader, she believes.
Cascadia was awarded $73,000 by CFIN to continue efforts.
“Receiving this grant from the Canadian Food Innovation Network will help us engage in innovative processing trials to continue building trust with consumers while developing improved ways of processing our cultivated, climate-positive seaweed crop for human consumption,” Levang noted.
The Innovation Booster is administered by CFIN and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund. For this round, CFIN received 44 applications from organizations based in 25 cities across Canada including Halifax, Winnipeg, and Saint-Hyacinthe.
In total, the program has invested $1.5 million into 17 projects since 2021, such as Surrey’s Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds.