National Growth Expands Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine

Posted: Apr 26, 2021

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Bioenterprise marks progress in connecting Canada’s agriculture and agri-food innovation system

GUELPH, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New partnerships, collaborations and services across Canada are continuing the drive to unite the country’s fragmented agriculture and agri-food innovation system. As Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, Bioenterprise now boasts a growing national network of connected regional and provincial partners, an expanding team of 10 innovation advisors across Canada, and seven innovation locations stretching from Atlantic Canada to British Columbia.

“It’s long been our vision to create an agri-food innovation environment that is more collaborative, more cooperative and more national, and I’m incredibly proud of the fantastic progress we’ve made with Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine in the last year to turn that vision into reality,” says Bioenterprise CEO Dave Smardon. “By bringing people and organizations together through the Engine, we can harness the innovative spirit and growth potential of our agriculture and agri-food sector for the benefit of all Canadians as we embark on the path towards post-pandemic recovery.”

Since launching Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine last year, Bioenterprise has created 55 strategic partnerships, welcomed 77 new members, and cemented a presence in six regions – Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia.

A team of 10 innovation advisors is available to support Canadian entrepreneurs from start-ups to established companies; the team will double by this fall. The innovation advisor team has expertise in food innovation, value chains, food and consumer markets, agri-food equipment and technology, primary agriculture and forestry, agri-business, bioeconomy regulatory affairs, governance, investment, development and business strategies.

Over 50 emerging and growth-oriented companies have received funding, mentorship and business development support through programs like Investing in Business Innovation and SmartGrowth in Ontario, GreenShoots in Nova Scotia, Alberta Yield and Quebec’s AgTech Acceleration Program.

The past year also saw the creation of a francophone innovation ecosystem involving Collège Boréal, ZoneAgTech, EcoFuel and the Canadian Space Agency, launch of a Northern Ontario pilot agri-tech hub project and advisory committee, and development of a national science advisory committee with representation from universities, colleges and corporations across Canada.

“As we continue to build the Engine, we will focus on connecting partners that are already active in the innovation space, as well as identifying and filling gaps by offering services and support that complement the resources that are already available,” adds Smardon.

Bioenterprise is Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, bringing more than 15 years of industry experience and a national and international network of research institutions, academia, mentors and experts, government, and industry to help small and medium-sized businesses in the sector nationwide Connect, Innovate, and Grow. Through its experienced service partner network, Bioenterprise offers a wide range of expertise and support to its clients, and partnerships with other industries help open doors to new technologies and platforms to help food and agri-tech businesses innovate and grow. Visit to learn more.


Quick facts about Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine

National coverage from coast to coast – the numbers at a glance:

  • 7 Regional partners
  • 55 New partnerships
  • 77 New members
  • 50+ Companies supported
  • 10 Innovation advisors
  • 7 locations in six regions
  • 5 Innovation funding programs being delivered

  • Innovation locations: Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Northern Ontario, Southern Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia


Dave Smardon, Bioenterprise, or 519-821-2960