As Saskatchewan’s bioeconomy catalyst, Ag-West Bio continually searches for opportunities and potential partnerships, both within the province and far reaching. Some of these initiatives are listed below.
Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP)
The Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP) is a new entity resulting from collaboration between Ag-West Bio, the Global Institute of Food Security, the Food Industry Development Centre, Innovation Place, and private sector partners. GAAP was created to support early and rapid growth stage companies within all areas of agriculture and food.
GAAP combines the benefits of significant investment capital (up to $500,000), long-term incubation in a world-class facility (up to three years, with access to laboratories, greenhouses, and offices), along with guidance and training from sector-specific experts.
- Early-stage technology companies – companies working on promising disruptive technologies in the early stages of development (post proof of concept) with application in agriculture, food, or food processing.
- Rapid growth stage companies – companies that have already demonstrated large scale commercial application for their technology; often they have been successful in securing a considerable amount of investment, and in many cases, they are already generating revenue.
In most instances these companies are located and operating outside of Canada or North America (but not exclusively) and have traction and or success in overseas markets. GAAP allows them to access the North American marketplace with lower entry costs, reduce capital expenditure, a tailored concierge services, and an expedited path to market.
GAAP can increase the success rate of portfolio companies, strengthen the ecosystem, and build a foundation of success, even when venture capital investment may be lacking within the sector.
We offer a novel platform designed to address the unique challenges of agri-food companies and technology developers during the start-up/expansion phase. Benefits include:
- Access to state-of-the-art greenhouses, laboratories, and office space for up to three years: This means portfolio companies do not have to spend money on renting, operating, and maintaining such facilities and infrastructure. Instead, they can allocate their capital towards innovation and commercialization building tangible value.
- Up to $500,000 in investment capital: Many early-stage companies have limited access to capital, in part, due to high upfront costs and a long timeline to market entry, and revenue generation typical in this sector. By providing significant investment we enable the most promising companies to focus on technology progression and market adoption.
- Commercial volume scale-up opportunities: Most early-stage and rapid growth stage companies encounter considerable hurdles when looking at mass production. Many face the daunting task of financing their own build, along with operation and maintenance. GAAP provides scale up opportunities, offsetting the need for capital.
- Training and Mentorship: GAAP provides mentorship from sector-specific experts who provide firsthand advice on business development, regulatory pathway, product development, fund-raising, marketing, logistics, export, and more. Entrepreneurs can also access training on specialized equipment (such as qPCR). All this helps companies avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes, expediting the path to market and lowering the capital requirements.
In addition to its founding partners, GAAP has and continues to work with other global leading organizations, corporations, and institutions to leverage synergies both across Canada and internationally. Through bilateral agreements, GAAP not only provides a landing for companies looking to expand into Canada, but also fantastic programs for Canadian companies looking to expand into overseas markets.
Diverse Field Crops Cluster
Led and administered by Ag-West Bio, in February 2019 this agri-science cluster was awarded $13.7 million from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program over five years, with an additional $11 million coming from industry.
DFCC will help transform the footprint of seven high-potential emerging crops to larger acreage and higher economic value. Diversifying the cropping mix will help extend rotations, break disease and pest cycles, and insulate producers from the volatility of commodity prices.
Saskatoon Food and Ingredient Processing Cluster
SFIPC is centred in Saskatoon and includes businesses and organizations from a variety of communities within the region and Northern Saskatchewan.
SFIPC is fostering relationships with over 90 food and ingredient companies, world-class education institutions and research and development facilities.
SFIPC strives to become a global leader in food, beverage and ingredient innovation and processing. Its mission is to develop a strong business environment for the value-added agri-food processing cluster through collaboration, ideation and resource maximization. By working together, we can enhance opportunities for investment and job creation for the benefit of the entire agri-value sector.
PrairiesCan has been supporting SFIPC since 2018, with research, outreach, pathfinding and funding.