Canada is investing in food innovation to support a strong national industry in its efforts to compete internationally.

Taking a triple helix approach by bringing together stakeholders from university, industry and government, the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI) science cluster aims to drive innovation in the country’s food and drink sector.

“CFI is here to support innovation within companies and the competitiveness of the entire industry,” said David Shambrock, Chair of CFI.

And central government is backing the initiative with $120,000, to enable it to find out what priorities food and beverage processors have when it comes to innovation.

“This investment will help Canadian food and beverage manufacturers better compete, innovate and capitalize on new opportunities,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The $120,000 brings total government investment in CFI to $2.6 million, and supports a five-year project, which kicked off in 2013, to scope out a Canadian Food Processing Innovation and Prosperity Cluster.

“We welcome this opportunity to consult with food and beverage processing businesses across the country to receive their input into research priorities that will help shape the next national food processing research cluster. Canada’s food and beverage processing sector buys and processes over 50% of farmers’ production across Canada into consumer-ready products that are sold across Canada and into numerous export markets,” added David Shambrock.