News | June 17, 2013

The Waterloo Accelerator Centre And City Of Waterloo Announce Canada's Technology For Food Collaboration

Groundbreaking initiative bringing together industry, academia and government to foster innovation and sustainability in food and beverage processing in Ontario

Waterloo, Ontario- (Marketwired) - World-renowned for its cultivation of technology entrepreneurship and commercialization, Waterloo's Accelerator Centre announced today it has partnered with the City of Waterloo to launch Canada's first innovation program focused on the food and beverage processing industry. Canada's Technology for Food (CTFF), spearheaded by the Waterloo Economic Development Committee (WEDC) and its vice-chair Ted McKechnie, will bring industry and academic partners together with Waterloo's business community to foster innovation and accelerate the commercialization of technologies aimed at advancing Canada's food and beverage processing industry at home and abroad. CTFF will focus on innovation, retraining, and building a highly skilled workforce to bridge the labour gap.

"Waterloo Region enjoys a long history in food and beverage production, stretching back to the 1800's, and today, South-western Ontario remains the largest food manufacturing region in Canada and third largest in North America," said Tim Anderson, CAO, City of Waterloo. "We need to continue to innovate, to inject new ideas and technologies into the industry to maintain our position as a world leader. We have been actively seeking an opportunity to support the advancement of this industry for some time. Canada's Technology for Food is the solution we've been seeking; it can be a catalyst for real change in the food and beverage processing industry here in Waterloo, across Ontario and Canada, and in time, globally."

"This collaboration partnership brings together the best of the best in this community. It marries industry partners that have real challenges, with the academic knowledge, technology, fabricators and commercialization and start-up expertise we have in Waterloo," said Ted McKechnie of the Davies Group of Companies, former president of Maple Leaf Foods, and the current chair of CTFF. "We'll work with industry partners to identify challenges and opportunities for improvement. Then we'll match that industry partner with a consortium of solution providers to build an answer to that challenge. When the solution has potential to benefit the rest of the industry, we'll work with the Accelerator Centre to commercialize the technology and grow the business."

The CTFF will be located at the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (AC), an award-winning incubation and commercialization facility located in Waterloo's David Johnston Research + Technology Park. The AC assists entrepreneurs and early stage companies in commercializing their technologies and establishing market traction, through an up to three year program provides business advisory, mentorship, education, connections to capital and other partners and commercialization expertise.

"We are extremely excited to play a leadership role in this important partnership," says Tim Ellis, CEO of the Waterloo Accelerator Centre and Accelerator Program. "Every day within our facility we are inspired by the creative thinking of entrepreneurs and start-ups who apply out of the box thinking, fearlessness and creativity to solve economic and business challenges. Canada's Technology for Food brings an industry with significant economic impact in Ontario and a new sphere of opportunities into the mix. I'm really looking forward to fostering some new innovative companies who I know will bring exciting new answers to the challenges facing our food and beverage processing industry today."

Source: Waterloo Accelerator Centre