The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and Bioenterprise, with Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, entered into an agreement to join with academia and industry to support the development of innovative technologies and companies across British Columbia with a focus in the Fraser Valley. The partnership centres around a shared interest in developing talent and innovation in the agriculture and food sectors. The Fraser Valley ranks number one in the province’s agricultural economy, generating over $1 billion in gross farm receipts each year. In fact, one in five jobs in the Fraser Valley is related to the agricultural sector. The future looks promising, with demand for BC’s agri-food products on the rise both in local and foreign markets and the demand for ag and food tech innovation growing immensely
This agreement paves the way for UFV and Bioenterprise to ignite The Engine in British Columbia and to bring to companies and entrepreneurs who are looking to grow and scale access to services and resources previously unavailable to them. Working with The Engine and its partners, UFV and Bioenterprise have agreed to cooperate, on a non-exclusive basis, in the area of delivering commercialization services for British Columbia to enhance the contribution that each organization can make to the agricultural sector including cleantech, agri-tech, food tech, industrial and commercial agriculture technologies. Bioenterprise will help to connect innovative companies from across the province to the resources and opportunities offered through The Engine network to expand their reach, enhance commercialization potential, and support job creation and expansion
Enhancing UFV’s Position in Agri-Tech and Food Tech Commercialization
“The University of the Fraser Valley sees great potential for our scientists, students, and entrepreneurs in growing their confidence and experience in the ag and food sectors in British Columbia. “We see partnering with Bioenterprise as an important component of the commercialization process for these technologies and companies” says Craig Toews, Vice President (External) for UFV. “We anticipate that our new relationship with Bioenterprise will continue the elevation of our position in the ag sector, and this is directly consistent with the strategic direction of the university. Dr. Garry Fehr, Associate VP, Research, Engagement & Graduate Studies, states “We see so much potential for ag and food innovation in BC, and in particular in the Fraser Valley, so much so that we have created a new degree in agriculture, with a focus on horticultural sciences. We are fostering new ties to agribusiness, and our relationship with Bioenterprise and its stakeholders will only solidify this position across the province and indeed build our connectivity across the country.
“Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine is driven by its relationships with entrepreneurs, businesses and stakeholders in the agri-tech and food tech sectors. The University of the Fraser Valley is a wonderful partner to us because they bring not only new innovations to the front, but also its connectivity into one of the major agricultural producing regions within the country.” says Dave Smardon, Chief Executive Officer at Bioenterprise. “The diversity of agriculture in the lower mainland will provide Bioenterprise clients with ample opportunity to pilot, test, demonstrate and ultimately to sell innovations domestically and internationally. We have worked with several innovative BC based companies who have needed the support of institutions like UFV, and we are thrilled to be able to offer UFV’s expertise and know-how as part of The Engine.
Working Together to Support Innovative Technologies and Companies Across British Columbia
The Engine is made up of members and partners across Canada and around the world that are focused on agri-tech and food-tech developments. Many of the companies that Bioenterprise has worked with are in the digital, precision agricultural space that needs educated and motivated employees interested in the future positioning of agriculture. UFV will be able to provide a pipeline of innovation and skilled staff for the innovation agricultural system, to manage technologies impacting production, food processing, distribution as well as key drivers such as environmental sustainability, and new and existing innovation. UFV will support Bioenterprise clients as they seek to expand their business and increase profitability while scaling up and growing their economic contributions to the sector. Through this partnership, both organizations expect to see an increase in the level of innovation, collaboration across academia, advancement of skilled workers, and enhanced growth within the agricultural economy in the Fraser Valley
This partnership is one of many that is rapidly expanding The Engine’s reach and value. To find out how you can get involved by providing services to the network, or joining yourself, visit bioenterpise.ca.