TORONTO — George Brown College has received a $7-million investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to expand its applied research capabilities in support of industry product and process improvement.
Beginning in fall 2015, industry professionals from the food and beverage sector (including wine, beer and spirits) will have access to a full-scale platform for product development and commercialization, including company incubation, product launch into Greater Toronto Area markets and commercialization support. New state-of-the-art applied research spaces located at George Brown’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts will provide small- and medium-sized companies with the necessary equipment, testing and development space to bring new products and services to market.
The $7 million is being matched with donor and industry support for a $14-million total expansion.
“These enhancements to our applied research facilities are an excellent example of how George Brown is working with government and industry to drive innovation and bolster the economy,” said Anne Sado, president, George Brown College. “We are grateful for FedDev Ontario’s investment, which supports the food and beverage sector by helping to bring new services, techniques and products to market faster while exposing a greater number of students to real-world industry problems. Our students are in turn positioned to hit the ground running as flexible innovators and problem-solvers when they enter the job market.”
The funding provides expanded commercialization capacity for the college’s existing Food and Innovation Research Studio (FIRSt), as well as new facilities that include a number of labs for students to work alongside industry partners on projects to support all stages of product development and commercialization. These spaces will include a large quantity bake lab, a beverage research lab, a large quantity culinary lab and a new industry engagement and interaction facility.
“Culinary and hospitality students will conduct applied research projects and learn from experienced industry professionals, in modern facilities that replicate their future work environments. The facilities will be a true hub of experiential learning for them,” said Lorraine Trotter, dean, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. “FedDev Ontario’s investment is a win-win for Ontario’s food and beverage industry, enabling our industry partners to get new products and services to market while supporting the students who will enter the field in the years ahead.”