Innovation Programs for Canadian Companies and Entrepreneurs

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The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) provides over $4 million in annual funding support through Growing Forward 2 for commercialization and innovation in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector.

This support provides base funding for a network of organizations with services and programs that help businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs to move innovation to the marketplace.

The Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre

The Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre (ATCC) is located in the Guelph Research Park. It provides a single point of contact for companies, entrepreneurs and researchers who are trying to bring new agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products, technologies and services to Canadian and global marketplaces.

The ATCC houses three organizations who focus on different aspects and stages of commercialization and innovation. Teaming up under the ATCC banner allows them to work together to provide seamless coverage for Ontario innovators. When you tap the power of the ATCC, you're tapping into three times the resources, connections and industry savvy.

Bioenterprise Corporation

Are you an entrepreneur or start-up company looking for help with:

  • planning - development of business plans, financial and marketing strategies?
  • professional advice and analysis - evaluating product concepts, competitive analysis, objective review of technologies and potential markets, access to experienced mentors with industry skills and expertise?
  • sourcing funding pools - public and private?

Then Bioenterprise Corporation may help you.

Bioenterprise Corporation is a business accelerator established to help promote the creation, growth and expansion of agri-technology based businesses. With their team of Business Analysts, the Science and Innovation Advisory Committee and an industry led Board of Directors, Bioenterprise provides innovators with the tools and expertise to build strong and competitive companies.

A Bioenterprise Success Story
Photograph of Canadian Biofuels company owners (a Bioenterprise client) standing beside the Canadian Biofuels company sign.

Photo 1: "We have a huge potential industry here. They [Bioenterprise Corporation] believed in our model. This is going to be a real boon for rural Ontario."
Ian Moncrieff, Canadian Biofuel

Canadian Biofuel, located in Springford, ON is a manufacturer of biofuel pellets and briquettes for industrial, residential and agricultural purposes. Early in their development, Bioenterprise helped Canadian Biofuel to:

  • develop business plans and financial models
  • obtain technical analyses of their products for use in discussion with potential clients.

Today Canadian Biofuel has secured significant European markets for container loads of their wood pellets.

Ontario Agri-Food Technologies

Are you an Ontario company looking for help with:

  • growing and accessing markets at home and abroad
  • making connections and building partnerships with:
    • agricultural producers
    • agri-food processors
    • researchers
    • other manufacturers
    • distributors
    • wholesalers and retailers
  • overcoming obstacles to commercialization of innovation through the Rapid Response initiative

Then Ontario Agri-Food Technologies may help you.

Soy 20/20

Are you an Ontario company or academic partner that works in the soybean, grain and oilseed industry looking for help with:

  • seizing new global opportunities?
  • facilitating industry-academic connections?
  • supporting commercialization efforts and business development?
  • supporting projects that create and strengthen the innovation climate in the province?

Then Soy 20/20 may help you.

Soy 20/20 Success Story
Photo showing a jar of WowButter, a soybased peanut butter replacement.

Hilton Foods is located in Staffa, Ontario. Soy 20/20 staff with expertise in food distribution helped Hilton Soy Foods bring WOWButter, a soy-based peanut butter replacement, to market.

The result - WOWButter is now on shelves in major Ontario retailers like Walmart, Metro and Sobeys.

Other Successful ATCC Collaborations

Find out about other successful ATCC collaborations in the Game Changers video series. These short (8 to 10 minute) videos portray the exciting diversity of Ontario companies who are active innovators in agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products.

The videos are also another tool that the companies can use in ongoing efforts to tell their own story - another benefit from their interaction with ATCC.

Gryphon's LAAIR Program (University of Guelph)

  1. Are you a University of Guelph researcher working on an innovative technology?
  2. Are you an Ontario company working with the University of Guelph to commercialize an innovative product?

The Gryphon's Leading to Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research (LAAIR) program may be able to help you.

Gryphon's LAAIR program was launched in Feb 2014 at the University of Guelph to help identify opportunities and risks associated with innovative technologies. The program will also help to address gaps and overcome barriers to the application and commercialization of these technologies in the Ontario agri-food and rural sectors.

Projects will address critical gaps or barriers that can be addressed in a relatively short time frame - typically one year or less. Projects may also demonstrate or validate genuine market pull for technologies through market analysis and engagement of willing industry partners.

All of the initiatives on this page are supported in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and/or the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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For more information:
Author: Stuart Budd, Research Advisor/RIB
Creation Date: 19 November 2014
Last Reviewed: 24 February 2015