Consortium will stimulate innovation in the agricultural and food economy in Quebec
By Meaghan Thurston
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Laurent Lessard; and Geoffrey Kelley, MNA for Jacques-Cartier and Minister responsible for Native Affairs, announced on behalf of the Government of Quebec $5 million for the Consortium de recherche précompétitive en transformation alimentaire at the Macdonald campus on Thursday, March 31. The funds will be awarded in five annual instalments of $1 million.
The Consortium is being created with the goal of reinforcing the competitive capacity of businesses in the food transformation industry by increasing their ability to conduct research and development, and to launch new technological innovations.
The Consortium, which will be led by Prof. Salwa Karboune of the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, will also promote partnerships between companies and researchers, and facilitate the recruitment of qualified workers. This investment will support research and development projects in the pre-competitive stages. One project that has already been initiated involves the use of natural ingredients to extend the shelf-life of products. “We are committed to making the Consortium an inclusive vehicle for partnership among businesses of all sizes, in collaboration with ‘Le Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec CTAQ’ and with other universities and research centres,” said Karboune.
“We thank the Government of Quebec for this major investment in research and innovation in the agrifood sector,” said Rosie Goldstein, VP, Research and Innovation. “In addition to reinforcing research and development activities, this Consortium will promote scientific entrepreneurship, talent development, and industrial partnerships and commercialization. McGill is eager to promote these collaborations in order to encourage innovation in research and to make meaningful advancements that will benefit the world.”
Laurent Lessard, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said that this is an investment in the future. “The results of the work carried out by this consortium will have a significant impact on the consolidation and future development of the food industry throughout Quebec. Companies based in Quebec will gain increased support for their innovation projects, and will be in a better position to react to the diverse needs of modern consumers.”
“The creation of the Consortium will allow McGill University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to use its globally-renowned expertise to assist companies that perform food transformation activities right here in Quebec,” said Geoffrey Kelley, MNA for Jacques-Cartier and Minister responsible for Native Affairs. “Macdonald campus is a major institution in my riding of Jacques-Cartier, and I am pleased to participate in this announcement. What we are talking about today will have a major impact on the ability of local food transformation companies to position themselves in the marketplace and to become the industry leaders of tomorrow.”