Canadian Food Innovation Network: Innovation Booster Program

Canada is striving to be a food and beverage leader, a key industry that that provides over 250,000 Canadian jobs and an increasing annual value of over 29 billion. However, becoming a leader in food and beverage requires proper funding and growth support for businesses in the industry.

“Our mission is to advance a competitive business environment that enables growth and sustainability through knowledge sharing, consultation, business led solutions and proactive advocacy.”

Food and Beverage Canada

To help support Canadian businesses in the food and beverage industry, the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) has implemented a funding program called the Innovation Booster. The Innovation Booster program is designed to help assist with common industry obstacles such as testing minimal viable products, scaling on a global scale and leveraging and protecting intellectual property.

“For Canada to be viewed as a leader in food innovation, it must invest in developing new raw materials, processing and other advanced solutions, that deliver cleaner and greener outputs for food. Sustainability is no longer optional and innovations are required to deliver meaningful and transformative changes in food and beverage”

-Canadian Food Innovation Network

The Canadian Food Innovation Network is an independent organization. CFIN is dedicating this program for high potential projects that are limited by a lack of funds.

Funding Amount

The CFIN Innovation Booster program is offering the following in funding support:

  • CFIN Innovation Booster funds up to 50% of eligible expenses for projects ranging from $20,000-$200,000 in total costs;
  • Costs incurred before project approval will not be eligible; and
  • If a project is approved, it will be subject to a management fee of 5% of total project costs and will be charged by CFIN.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants for this program will fall under the following criteria:

  • Businesses need to have less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Applicants should have fewer than $50 million in taxed revenues from the company’s previous fiscal year;
  • Applicants should be incorporated for more than one year or be a limited liability partnership (LLP). Two years of  review engagement or audited financials are required as part of the application process; and
  • Successful applicants must be CFIN members (membership is free).

Project Focus

Successful projects should focus on research and development in the technology readiness levels (TRL) of one to seven and must fall into one of three research areas:

  • Smart Product and Process Development:
    • Health and wellness products and benefits;
    • Robotic applications;
    • AI and big data; and
    • Emerging areas similar to cultured protein.
  • Food System Sustainability:
    • Food waste;
    • Value recovery;
    • Circularity and upcycling;
    • Green/smart packaging; and
    • Input efficiency.
  • Agile and Safe Supply Chains:
    • Logistics and supply chains;
    • Consumer analytics;
    • Food safety and security;
    • Digital supply chain solutions such as IoT, blockchain, etc.

Eligible costs for this program include direct labor, consultants, materials, equipment, and other direct project costs.

Program Timeline

The CFIN Innovation Booster program has the following program timelines.

  • This Canadian Food Innovation Network program will be accepting letters of intent starting on October 4th and will be accepted on an open intake basis;
  • Information sessions will be available on October 18th and November 1st, 2021.
  • Approvals will be ratified on an ongoing basis starting in 2021; and
  • Projects should be completed by March 31st, 2025.

Government Funding for Food and Beverage Companies

For businesses in the food and beverage industry, it is crucial to get the financial support you need for research and development and to grow your business. Also, this free agri-food white paper provides a lot of useful industry information and funding opportunities to prepare your business for a successful future.

To read about food and beverage financial support from the Canadian government, reach out to a Mentor Works representative today. For more information on current funding programs, visit our government funding directory.

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