Bioenterprise supports economic development in Northern Ontario

Bioenterprise Canada is supporting ConnectNORTH, a group purchase plan that gives people living or interested in Ontario’s northern regions access to a GIS-based supply chain mapping tool.

Posted: Jun 14, 2022

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Northern Ontario’s newest economic development tool is now live, and Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, is a proud supporter of the project.

ConnectNORTH is a group purchase plan that gives people living or interested in Ontario’s northern regions access to a GIS-based supply chain mapping tool. Users can identify opportunities and gaps for their community or region in three areas: agri-food, manufacturing, and tourism. The directory includes over 7500+ businesses from across Ontario’s northern regions and users can access information for 11 regional northern districts and six cities in northern Ontario.

Bioenterprise Canada supported ConnectNORTH by providing agri-food sector assets as a part of its ongoing work to strengthen food and agri-tech innovation in northern Ontario.  

“We are continually looking for new ways to support agri-food innovation in northern Ontario and provide new opportunities to bring partners across the sector together to create growth in the region,” says Dave Smardon, Bioenterprise CEO. “ConnectNORTH provides current, reliable information that will help strengthen and expand supply chains in the north.”

ConnectNORTH brings the ConnectON platform, developed in southern Ontario, to the north and makes its data available in an affordable manner to organizations and businesses who are looking for partners, suppliers, or customers in Ontario’s northern regions.

It is a project of the Northern Policy Institute and supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance, and North Superior Workforce Planning Board as founding partners.

In 2021, Bioenterprise Canada launched a pan-Northern Ontario pilot agri-tech hub project focused on connecting start-ups and early-stage businesses with services and targeted resources across Ontario and Canada.

Its staff team in northern Ontario is led by Regional Manager Thora Cartlidge, and an advisory committee of stakeholders across the region is helping to build connections and identify innovation opportunities across Ontario’s northern regions.

For more information on Bioenterprise Canada’s activities in Northern Ontario, contact Thora Cartlidge at


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