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Government of Canada supports Saskatchewan’s agri-food sector


November 16, 2021
By Fruit and Vegetable

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On Nov. 12, Daniel Vandal, minister of northern affairs, minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced funding of $1.5 million to support the Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP) in its efforts to assist agri-food companies advancing their technologies to market adoption.

GAAP provides promising firms with access to facilities, training, mentorship, concierge services and investment. This funding is being delivered through Prairies Economic Development Canada in Saskatchewan under the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) program.

“By helping early stage Saskatchewan agri-food companies to innovate and address the challenges that start-ups can face, we’re ensuring that they can capitalize on growth opportunities, increase their competitiveness, and create high-quality jobs that people in Saskatchewan can rely on,” Vandal said.

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This investment in GAAP supports agri-food innovation in the Prairie provinces and increases Canada’s competitive position in international markets by bringing together new and existing innovation resources, increasing access to capital, and assisting agri-food start-ups.

GAAP will provide early stage agri-food technology companies with support, including:

  • Multi-year access to greenhouses, laboratories and offices at Innovation Place, as well as sector expertise and mentorship. Facilities will include the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan’s Omics and Precision Agriculture (OPAL) platform to support plant breeding, post-harvest technologies, and drone, imaging and sensor technologies, as well as the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre’s expertise and incubation suites.
  • Scale-up and commercial acceleration opportunities as well as access to large-scale early adopters and industry users – connecting firms directly to stakeholders and potential customers, especially for technologies that require field-testing.
  • Equity investment directed to companies that are translating new knowledge and innovation to the marketplace, and therefore require large investments.
  • A soft-landing program for domestic and international clients looking to establish a presence in Western Canada. In addition to GAAP’s financial support, international clients may also have access to financial support through the Voyage Program, jointly funded by GAAP and Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Association (SREDA).