Provincial support is on the menu for a new food and beverage innovation centre that will soon be constructed at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, through its provincial College Industry Innovation Fund, has announced $678,510 to be awarded to Niagara College to support the new centre – to be named the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Research Centre. Construction is expected to begin on the centre this fall.
“The new facility will bring our professors, students, and industry partners together, help them innovate, and bring new products and processes to market, while our students gain experience in food research,” said Dr. Marc Nantel, associate vice-president of Research and Innovation at Niagara College. “People like to understand what is going into their bodies and are constantly bombarded with ‘new and improved’ products. These labs will help us design improved food and beverage products that are also better for health.”
The project was recognized by the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation as being ideally positioned in Niagara’s food corridor to fill a regional need, help make Ontario more competitive in the industry, and have a positive impact on the local and international food industry economy. It is also expected to have a positive economic impact by creating more jobs and helping entrepreneurs and small companies by training skilled workers.
“We’re proud of the exceptional work happening at Niagara College. The contributions of our researchers are making the world a better place, starting right here with new ideas and jobs in our community,” said Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor.
The new provincial funding matches the amount awarded to the College for the project by the Government of Canada’s Colleges Industry Innovation Fund in spring 2012. Niagara College and industry partners are also contributing funds to the project.
About the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Research Centre
The new CFWI Research Centre will provide applied research resources for the largest segment of Ontario’s economy – the agri-food sector.
Equipping the College with new labs for applied research in food and beverage science, it will be a part of all the programs at the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, particularly its new Food Science program.
The centre will provide dedicated research labs for food chemistry, sensory analysis and consumer research in the science of tasting. Research will help raw ingredient producers develop products, improve production and cooking methods and explore new marketing concepts. Researchers from the College will work with food product producers to develop new products, find new uses for existing products and explore creative packaging to increase revenue.
“We are looking forward to working with entrepreneurs in Niagara and across this country who are interested in developing new food or beverage products, including recipe development and testing, product development, value-added agriculture research, consumer sensory studies and product commercialization,” said Jon Ogryzlo, dean of the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “The research centre will provide great opportunities for our faculty and students to learn new skills by integrating their academic studies with real world industry research projects.”
Companies including MADD Virgin Drinks, Criveller Comp any Canada, Kurtz Orchards, Olson Food Concepts, Fallsview Casino Resort, and other private companies are partnering with the College for applied research projects in this area.