On June 24, 1:00 pm (CST) join us for the Ag-West Bio annual meeting and a virtual event called The Power of Partnership: building an agri-value ecosystem in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan may have a small population, but the province has a strong history of commodity production and a growing footprint in the agri-value industry. With numerous organizations focused on the goal of growing the agri-value sector, collaboration and teamwork is key to our mutual success.

Identifying each of the puzzle pieces that make up the agri-value ecosystem is our first challenge. What are our strengths? Who are the key organizations and what roles do they play? And, perhaps, most importantly, what pieces are still missing?

Our guest speakers will explore key elements already in place as well as what has been missing, and a panel will discuss the benefits of incubators and details of the new Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP).

GAAP strives to fill an important role in this ecosystem – as a ‘soft-landing’ incubator, with not only the physical infrastructure necessary for agri-value companies, but also a business support system to enable them to thrive.

Speakers will present on the strengths in the province, including research and development, trade, technology adoption, and human resources, along with the perspective of a successful, home-grown Saskatchewan company.

The speaker lineup:

Volker Gerdts, Director and CEO of  Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), will talk about their work in animal health R&D – still a major focus of VIDO, which has been making headlines with its efforts to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.

Jodi Banks, Deputy Minsiter of Trade and Export Development, will talk about the province’s strengths and challenges in regard to trade and new programs that are available.

Deanna Herman, Academic Chair, Sciences, Natural Resources & Co-op Education at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, will present on how the province is addressing high-tech human resources needs – an element that is crucial for a successful agri-value sector.

Chris Barker, Director of Business Development at the Global Institute for Food Security, will present on technology adoption as a crucial element in the development of an agri-value ecosystem, the importance of industry participation and consumer engagement and acceptance.

Cameron Kupper, Vice President, Trading and Business Development at Bioriginal Food & Science Corp will talk about the company’s early days, the community support they received, and how they achieved success. He will also touch on cluster gaps and attributes.

After the speaker presentations, there will be a panel discussion featuring GAAP’s founding partners: Ag-West Bio, the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), Innovation Place, and the Saskatchewan Food Industry and Development Centre (Food Centre).

Panelists are: Shannon Hood-Niefer, Vice President, Innovation and Technology at the Food Centre; Steven Webb, Executive Director and CEO of GIFS; Brent Sukenik, CEO of Innovation Place; and Jay Robinson, Director of Agri-Food Technology at Ag-West Bio. Ag-West Bio President and CEO Karen Churchill will serve as event MC and moderate the panel discussion.

After the formal event, online Zoom rooms will be available for attendees to network with the panelists.

Photo: Depositphotos 



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