Guelph incubator Bioenterprise will get $2M to gasoline inexperienced agri-tech

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield missed the announcement after testing positive for COVID

Guelph-based Bioenterprise Corporation is getting $2 million to develop and administer a program called FoodShift, which will help small and medium agriculture and food processors adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.

The funding is part of a new federal government program announced on Friday at the Jaral Corporate Center on Research Lane and is a green initiative to help southern Ontario agriculture and food processors.

Bioenterprise is a network of entrepreneurs committed to pushing innovation for the agri-tech and food industries in Canada.

MP Lloyd Longfield was supposed to be at the announcement on behalf of Minister Helena Jaczek but could not attend because he was positive for COVID.

“As many of you know the City of Guelph is a leader of clean tech and sustainable development,” said Dave Smardon, CEO of Bioenterprise.

The program will connect agribusiness and food processors with clean tech entrepreneurs. Eligible businesses will receive up to $50,000 through Bioenterprise.

The call for applications is launching on July 27, more information for those who want to apply can be found on the Bioenterprise website.

“The initiative will help 30 industrial food processors to future proof their businesses, support an additional 30 clean tech companies to commercialize their technologies and grow their revenues and support 200 jobs.” said Smardon.

“Ontario’s food and agriculture sectors have just lived through two years of COVID related challenges,” he said. “When we come out of this period it is all in our best interest for Ontarians for these sectors to be given an opportunity to have a running start of recovery.”

Smardon explained innovations in clean technology can drive the economy towards climate change benefits.

“So this is an opportunity to leapfrog and get the new technology in. What does innovation do? It reduces your costs, it increases your productivity and it builds efficiencies,” he said.

Smardon said there is a big problem with companies who don’t have a lot of extra money to invest in research and development on clean technology. “The business model is based on high volume, low margin,” he said.

He explained this program will help the connectivity and funding problem connecting businesses together and having them adopt environmentally friendly technologies.

As a tangible example of technology used in the farming sector Smardon said when tractors are driven over land it compresses the soil and is a problem. There is technology developed for tractor tires that deflate as they drive over the land.

It isn’t the test result I wanted to see, but at least I caught it before meeting seniors at @gwsa open house, or volunteering at @FestivalGuelph. #covid is still out there: if you don’t feel well test and stay home. Having 4 vaccine doses has kept symptoms mild so far!

— Lloyd Longfield (@LloydLongfield) June 10, 2022

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