The partnership came about because the founding partners – Ag-West Bio, the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), Innovation Place and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Center (Food Center) – recognized that there was a gap in the innovation pipeline.
Almost all of the elements were already in place in the region to create a world-class agribusiness innovation hub, but agribusiness startups have unique challenges: In addition to the usual problems most startups face, they often need support. highly specialized equipment and personnel. , have high initial costs and face a long road to market entry and income generation. This is where GAAP fits in.
Interim CEO Jay Robinson believes GAAP is unique. “We haven’t found any other organization that offers what we do. GAAP is not just an accelerator; it’s not just funding, and it’s not just an incubator. It’s a combination of all of these things, and more.
GAAP targets two types of businesses:
- Early stage companies working on promising and disruptive technologies in the early stages of development (after proof of concept) with applications in agriculture, food or food processing.
- Domestic and international clients looking to establish a presence in Western Canada will find a soft landing under GAAP. This will allow them to access the North American market with lower entry costs, reduced capital expenditure, tailored concierge services and accelerated market access.
Companies within this new partnership can enjoy the following benefits:
- Access to GAAP facilities up to 3-4 years. This includes the greenhouses, laboratories and offices of Innovation Place, the Omics and Precision Agriculture (OPAL) laboratory of GIFS to support plant breeding, post-harvest technologies and drone technologies, imaging and sensors, as well as the expertise and incubation suites of the Food Center.
- Access to significant investments GAAP (up to $ 1 million with partner support) to qualifying companies, allowing them to focus on advancing technology and market adoption.
- Access to opportunities to increase commercial volume for early stage and rapidly growing businesses when they encounter the obstacles of mass production or the daunting task of financing their own construction.
- Access to mentoring experts in business development, regulatory pathway, product development, fundraising, marketing, logistics, export, etc. Entrepreneurs can also access training on specialized equipment. All of this will help companies avoid costly mistakes, speeding up the journey to market and reducing capital requirements.
GAAP is pleased to work with private sector investors and is delighted with the recently announced support of $ 1.5 million from Prairie Economic Development Canada.
GAAP will attract new talent, create new jobs and increase international partnerships. A stronger ecosystem will support startups in developing tools to address the global challenges of our time, such as food security and climate change.
Quotes from the founding partners of GAAP:
“The partnership with GAAP recognizes the opportunity that innovation in agriculture offers to global economies and is committed to seeing Canada lead the world in advancing agricultural technologies by addressing real structural challenges in agriculture. and food. We are ready to work with various stakeholders in the Canadian economy, as agriculture is a sector that has the capacity to address various global challenges, including food security and climate change, on a massive scale.
– Steven Webb (PhD), CEO, World Institute for Food Security.
“GAAP will draw on the expertise of the agri-food community – and the vast network these experts have developed across the country and around the world – to support a whole new generation of agri-food businesses in Saskatchewan. “
– Karen Churchill (PhD), President and CEO, Ag-West Bio Inc.
“Collaborative partners involved in GAAP are uniquely positioned to provide the right resources to start-ups and create a clearer path to commercialization success. At the Food Center, our strong capacities to transform ingredients into CPG [Consumer Packaged Goods] the product will be a key factor in this path.
– Dan Prefontaine, President, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Center Inc.
“Innovation Place is extremely proud to be a founding partner of GAAP, serving as a prime example of how we can leverage our specialized infrastructure and unique environment to serve as a bridge between academia, industry and the government. “
– Brent Sukenik, Interim President and CEO, Innovation Place