Officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the food processing industry are organizing a trip to the Netherlands from March 5 – 12, 2016, with the aim of enhancing innovation collaboration between the Canadian food processing industry and Dutch innovation know-how.
The Canadian food processing industry has expressed interest in improving its innovation capacity to enhance sector development and adoption of leading technologies, which will boost its global competitiveness. To improve Canadian innovation capabilities, it is critical, initially, to expand our understanding of those of competitors such as the Dutch, who have developed extensive innovation capabilities to support their manufacturers. The Netherlands have an excellent reputation for innovative agri-food technology. As a result of this reputation, 12 out of the top 40 food processing companies globally have R&D centres located in this country.
To support our efforts, three Dutch trade/research organizations (FME-GMV, Wageningen University, and Food & Bio-based Research) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Food Innovators (or CFI, which is an agri-science cluster working with industry to increase its innovation capacity, with the assistance of funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). This MOU opens the doors for Canadian industry to capitalize on and access Dutch resources to introduce greater innovation through applied scientific research.
This trip, for which a draft agenda is being developed (see attached), will include visits to:
- The highly-regarded Food Valley Netherlands cluster;
- Leading-edge food processing plants;
- Machinery and equipment manufacturers and research centres; and,
- Other key organizations within the Dutch food cluster that facilitate innovation collaboration between industry, scientists, and researchers to create competitive advantages for the agri-food sector.
The long-term objective for this trip is to seed the development of collaboration projects with Dutch researchers that could be funded, in part, by CFI, as well as other government funding programs.
We are looking for representatives from five companies to join 10 officials from Canadian food trade associations and government. The estimated cost for the trip is $5,500 and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is prepared to cover $1,000 of the cost for each company.
If you are interested in the trip, please contact Bruno Lamy, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-697-9821 for further details.