Bioenterprise Hosts Innovation Showcase to Highlight Success in Seed Funding Program

Fellow ATCC founding member Bioenterprise Corporation along with partner, Innovation Guelph, celebrated the success of recipients of their first round of seed funding at their Innovation Showcase event on October 10, 2017.

This funding program has helped in the success of small companies across southern Ontario such as Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc., Local Grown Salads and Roothams Gourmet Preserves.

“We are delighted to showcase 15 of the 32 recipients from the first round of Bioenterprise’s Seed Funding program and Innovation Guelph’s Fuel Injection program. As a result of the support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the 32 recipient companies have raised more than $21 million in follow-on private investment, generated more than $6 million in revenues, created more than 45 jobs, and launched more than 50 products, processes, and technologies. These innovators, along with more recent recipients of these programs, continue to create new and exciting opportunities for economic development in Southern Ontario,” says Jessica Bowes, Manager, Business & Technology Analyst Group, Bioenterprise Corporation.

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Soy 20/20, Changes Name to Oilseed Innovation Partners

Congratulations to fellow ATCC founding member Oilseed Innovation Partners (OIP), formerly known as Soy 20/20. The name change reflects its expanding mandate that now includes oilseed crops in addition to soybeans, such as canola, sunflowers, and camelina.

Read full news release here: News release - Soy 2020 expands mandate to become Oilseed Innovation Partners - 19 October 2017


Food Starter Celebrates its Grand Opening

Food Starter, a not-for-profit corporation funded in part by the City of Toronto and Canada’s premier food business commercialization centre, celebrated its official grand opening on October 12th with a Flavour Safari held at the centre’s 20,000-square foot shared-use production space in Toronto, Ontario.

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Canada Rises to 7th Place Globally as a National Brand

Canada leapfrogged India to hit seventh place in the rankings, up from eighth the year before. The value of Brand Canada rose by 14 per cent in a year, to an estimated US$2.056 trillion.

In other words, that’s what it would cost to buy Canada’s reputation and wordmark if it were available on the open market.

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OAFT Member Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Appoints New Chair

Suzanne van Bommel has been appointed chair of the board for the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) for an initial two-year term, with the possibility for reappointment for a maximum of 10 years. Four directors have also been appointed.

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Dusty Zamecnik wins Ontario's Outstanding Young Farmer 2017

Dusty Zamecnik won the title of Ontario's Outstanding Young Farmer for 2017. He is a horticulture farmer from Norfolk County growing strawberry plants for propagation, blueberries and hops. The 27 year-old is the production manager of EZ Grow Farms and Hometown Brew Co.

He won over three other nominees and received the award during the provincial competition held at Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. He will travel to B.C. for the national competition in November to vie for the title of Canada's Outstanding Young Farmer.

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Agri-food Management Institute: Making a Case for Growing New Crops

Ontario farmers who are thinking about growing a non-traditional crop have a valuable new tool to assess whether it’s a profitable idea. Making a Case for Growing New Crops is an online learning resource recently developed by the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) to help farmers engage in business planning before planting.

The resource was developed in partnership with OAFT member Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), who surveyed members earlier this year to gauge interest in growing new crops, as well as the best method of delivering information.

Making a Case for Growing New Crops – the new free online resource available in the Resources for Farmers section of features five interactive modules that users work through on their own schedule to develop a business case for diversifying their farm. Through a series of videos and worksheets, users can determine whether the crop is an agronomic fit, identify customers and markets, analyze their cost of production and develop a budget. In the end, they will have a personalized and confidential report that includes a business model canvas (a one-page visual business plan) as well as an action plan to share with their team and use to communicate with their advisors and lenders.

PlantForm named 2017 Defense TechConnect Innovation Award winner

Congratulations to Rapid Response client PlantForm Corporation for being  named a 2017 DefenseTechConnect Innovation Award winner at the Defense Innovation Summit (DITAC) in Tampa, Florida.

The award goes to the top 15 per cent of innovations submitted to the DITAC program committee, with rankings based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have for the warfighter and national security.

PlantForm is developing plant-produced trastuzumab as a nerve regeneration drug for acute trauma patients, a novel indication for the monoclonal antibody, which is widely used for the treatment of breast cancer under the brand name Herceptin®.

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Local Grown Salads moves to feed New York City

Local Grown Salads announced today that it has signed a letter of intent with a NYC-based leading EcoSmart developer, GreenStreet. The agreement envisions deploying Indoor Vertical Farms in new and renovated buildings throughout the City of New York.

GreenStreet is actively developing mixed-use properties under its GreenStreet Garden brand that will locate Local Grown Salads Indoor Vertical Farms in the basements of those very properties. The farms will service Grocers who are tenants, and others local to the farm. The results are significantly increased profitability of the building and resolving the challenge of food deserts in dense urban areas.

Local Grown Salads’ Indoor Vertical Farming System means that organic, gourmet “Grab and Go” salads will be available year-round. Consumers will enjoy fresh, highly nutritious, flavorful salads that were previously only available at farmer’s markets. The salads are grown, harvested, packaged, and can be eaten the very same day. Each farm will create employment for people in the area.

Lots more on this OAFT partner at

Advonex International Opens State of the Art Facility

Advonex International celebrated the Grand Opening of its new facility on September 6th, 2017. The company’s new facility, situated in Elizabethtown-Kitley, is where a new state-of-the-art production facility will be constructed, which will manufacture innovative products to meet the growing global demand for sustainable, renewable materials. Advonex is poised to be the leader in the transition from a fossil fuel-based to a sustainable, biologically-based economy, with the focus of reducing the world’s dependency on petroleum. Advonex's renewable ingredients will impact nearly every aspect of our lives ranging from engine lubricants, machining, surface coatings, cosmetics & personal care, inks, paints and many other everyday products used by consumers. This will reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, helping Canada and the world meet its obligations under the Paris accords. For more on this OAFT partner, visit

Performance Plants advancing with Drought Resistant Cotton

Performance Plants have announced an important milestone in partnership with Bayer with regards to the development of drought resistant cotton. Rapid Response clients making the most of their funding! Click here for more details of their success.

OPAF Selected for EU's Internet of Food and Farm Initiative

Congratulations to Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF), selected as one of three global initiatives for collaboration with the EU's Internet of Food and Farm 2020 initiative. Read more here