New partnership supports Indigenous food and agri-businesses

FNUniv, Canada’s only Indigenous-owned postsecondary institution, has become a Knowledge & Development Partner of Bioenterprise Canada.

Posted: Feb 17, 2023

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First Nations University of Canada

First Nations University of Canada joins Bioenterprise Canada

Guelph ON/Regina SK, 17 February 2023 – First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv), the country’s only Indigenous-owned postsecondary institution, has joined Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, as a Knowledge & Development Partner. The two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to make more opportunities, supports and resources available to Indigenous agri-food entrepreneurs and businesses.

The new collaboration will open up Bioenterprise’s national network of mentors, resources and funding to the FNUniv community, as well as enable new partnerships and ventures for Bioenterprise members and partners across Canada. Supporting emerging businesses led by Indigenous entrepreneurs, as well as enterprises in northern Canada, is a key strategic pillar for Bioenterprise, alongside sustainable innovation and inclusivity and equal opportunity.

“Collaboration is key to advancing sustainable food and agri-tech innovation, and that includes opening doors for more people to join this industry, including Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses,” says Dave Smardon, Bioenterprise Canada CEO. “We are thrilled to welcome First Nations University of Canada to the Engine and look forward to getting to know and supporting Indigenous food and agri-tech innovation.”

FNUniv provides educational opportunities to Indigenous and non-Indigenous university students, and hosts annual collaborative science and entrepreneurship programs for Indigenous youth. The institution is partnering with Bioenterprise to better support Indigenous businesses in Canada’s food and agriculture sector, and to enhance Indigenous entrepreneurship and capacity building.

“Through this partnership with Bioenterprise, FNUniv wishes to provide more opportunities, support services, and resources for Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses in the Indigenous food and agri-business sectors in Canada,” says Bettina Schneider, Associate Dean of Community, Research and Graduate Programs at FNUniv.

About Bioenterprise Canada

Bioenterprise is Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine. As the country’s national agri-technology focused commercialization accelerator, Bioenterprise uses its 20 years of industry experience and its national and international network of experts, mentors, funders, advisors, researchers, government and industry partners to help small and medium-sized agri-food businesses connect, innovate and grow.

Since its inception in 2003, Bioenterprise has supported over 2,500 innovative ag-tech companies, helped launch 2,000 technologies, generated $285 million in follow-on investment in Canadian agriculture and agri-food, and yielded a 200:1 return on invested dollars. The organization has six locations across Canada and more than 350 members and partners nationwide.

About First Nations University of Canada
Established in 1976, the First Nations University of Canada is Canada’s onlynational First Nations-owned post-secondary institution. FNUniv is a unique educational institution of higher learning specializing in Indigenous Education for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of all cultural backgrounds. Our Vision is to aspire to have a transformative impact by bridging our ceremonies, knowledge keepers, languages, and traditions with the delivery of high-quality post-secondary education.


For more information:

Dave Smardon, Bioenterprise Canada or (519) 821-2960

Bettina Schneider, First Nations University of Canada or (306) 790-5950, ext 3257

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