OTTAWA, ONTARIO – In 2020, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), through the Innovative Solutions Canada Program, launched several challenges aimed at improving the health of Canadians, plants and animals. CFIA announced the companies that are receiving funding to develop their innovative concepts to address the agency’s challenges.

Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health said, “Through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Innovative Solutions Canada program, we are supporting Canadian-made innovation. We’re partnering with these trailblazers to find innovative ways to protect Canadians, by quickly detecting food borne pathogens, develop new technologies, and keeping our food supply safe.”

Precision Biomonitoring, in Guelph, Ontario, received approximately C$150,000 in grant funding to develop a handheld device to detect bacterial foodborne hazards throughout the farm-to-fork continuum.

Approximately C$100,000 was awarded to Montreal, Quebec-based Shaddari Inc. to develop a computer model that could support vaccine matching technologies to help specialists determine which vaccination strain would be most successful at preventing and controlling field outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cattle, sheep and swine.

“Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a very serious disease of livestock that has the potential for significant economic impact on the agricultural industry,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Although FMD is not currently found in Canada, it is extremely important to be prepared for it. Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, the government of Canada is funding this project to support a response to FMD by the Canadian agriculture industry and protect the health of animals. This new computer model has the potential to allow the CFIA to access technologies that could support mitigation measures for FMD in Canada and around the globe.”

And HPP West Coast Facility, in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, received approximately C$150,000 in grant funding to develop a high pressure processing (HPP) technology that could safely control plant pests that are regulated and/or of quarantine significance in Canada to support industry in exporting products to international markets.

“Protecting Canada’s plant resources helps to maintain food security and environmental sustainability, and supports continued economic growth,” said Dr. William Anderson, Chief Plant Health Officer for Canada. “The CFIA is excited about the potential of high pressure processing, an innovative concept for managing the risk associated with quarantine pests. If successful, this innovation could provide a more effective option to control plant pests of concern to Canada, including those that spread via trade pathways such as cargo and containers.”