Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

PrairiesCan Invests $1.5 Million In The Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced funding of $1.5 million to support the new Global Agri-Food Advancements Partnership (GAAP) incubator located at Innovation Place in Saskatoon.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the immense potential for Saskatchewan to become an even stronger global leader in the agri-food industry and to benefit from the economic advantages of a growing global demand for food products,” said Minister Vandal.

GAAP is a not-for-profit organization and partnership between by Ag-West Bio (AWB), the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), Innovation Place and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre) aimed at helping early-stage companies in the agri-food sector through access to facilities, training, mentorship, concierge services and investment.

The inspiration for GAAP came from the recognition of a gap in the innovation pipeline and the desire of the four partners to make a difference in the Saskatchewan technology ecosystem and strengthen the economy. “The four partners each brought specific strengths and we all recognized where there were struggles trying to get innovation at the consumer stage and we saw that each of us had something to offer,” said Karen Churchill, President and CEO of AWB.

GAAP will decrease barriers that normally hinder agri-food startups by providing multi-year access to facilities like greenhouses, laboratories and offices at Innovation Place and the GIFS Omics and Precision Agriculture (OPAL) platform, access to large-scale early adopters and industry user, a soft-landing program for domestic and international companies and more. GAAP hopes to initially support as many as 30 companies over its 20-year lifetime.

The investment in GAAP recognizes the importance of innovation and growth in Saskatchewan at the federal level and strengthens Canada’s position in the global economy as an innovation leader in the agri-food sector.

Saskatchewan is primed for success in the agri-food sector because of the large complement of organizations, companies and communities collaborating within the Saskatchewan tech sector and access to 40% of Canada’s agriculture land.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for [GAAP] and everyone in the ecosystem and what this funding announcement means,” said Dr. Steven Webb, CEO of GIFS.

For more on the Government of Canada’s investment, read the press release.
For more on GAAP, read here.

- November 12, 2021