$600,000 Awarded to the Recipients of the 2009 Commercialization of Agricultural Technology Competition

L to R: Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Harvey Sasaki; 3rd Place Winner, Innovative Food Systems, Perry Lidster; 2nd Place Winner, L.W. Truscott Farms, Gary and Susan Snow; 3rd Place Winner, AgriForest Biotech Ltd, Kamlesh Patel; 1st Place Winner, Daiya Foods, Greg Blake; Director of Research and Innovation of the Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development, Ken Armour; and BC Innovation Council's CFO and VP, Business Development Lisa Payne; and Director of Life Sciences, Richard Hallman. (CNW Group/BC Innovation Council)

VANCOUVER, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) is pleased to announce the four winners of 2009's Commercialization of Agricultural Technology (CAT) Competition. Designed to bridge the gap between research and industry by transforming innovations into real-world solutions, the awards ceremony for the CAT Competition kicked off BCIC's Innovation Summit 2010: Agriculture, Food and Ag-bioproducts on January 7, 2010, as a celebration of the exciting accomplishments being made in these progressive sectors.

"I'd like to congratulate the recipients of the 2009 CAT Competition Awards who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in the commercialization of technology in our province, taking their creative ideas to the marketplace," said Richard Hallman, Director of Life Sciences at BCIC. "BCIC is committed to developing programs and providing support for initiatives that develop entrepreneurs and startup companies for our rapidly growing knowledge economy."

Connecting science to business, BCIC's Innovation Summit 2010 featured industry expert panels who spoke on the trials and tribulations of running a successful startup, and company pitch sessions followed by one-to-one business partnering opportunities. The Summit also included keynote addresses on "The Future of Agri-Food Technologies and Enterprises in Canada" by Murray McLaughlin of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance in Ontario and Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corporation.

The 2009 Commercialization of Agricultural Technology Competition Award winners are:

CAT Competition $250,000 1st Place Award Winner
    -----------------------------------------------

    Daiya Foods, Vancouver, BC
    Manufacturing of a Non-Dairy Slice From Natural Agricultural Plant
    Ingredients

      Daiya Foods has been conducting research and development of a new
      technology platform that has the potential of creating soft style non-
      dairy slice. These hybrid slices can substitute for almost every
      popular variety of dairy-based equivalents. Daiya Foods has achieved
      very promising results in bench top testing and would like to complete
      the R&D bench top tests and scale up the process at its facility in
      Vancouver.

    CAT Competition $150,000 2nd Place Award Winner
    -----------------------------------------------

    L.W. Truscott Farms, Creston, BC
    JUICE - FABRICATION OF INNOVATIVE JUICE PROCESSORS

      Gary & Susan Snow (L.W. Truscott Farms) are cherry growers in Creston,
      B.C. Currently, 20% of their crops are being thrown away as culls in
      landfills and on the orchard floor. Much of this fruit is useable for
      value-added products. Because of the current waste of culled fruit and
      the consumers demand for healthy foods they have fabricated a juice
      processor to create food products that are a source of anthocyanins and
      antioxidants. The utilization of culled fruit would reduce waste,
      create jobs in Creston, and provide financial stability to the farmers.

    CAT Competition $100,000 3rd Place Award Winners
    ------------------------------------------------

    AgriForest Biotech Ltd., Kelowna, BC
    Sunlight-Based Plant Micro-propagation for Commercial Production of
    Agricultural and Horticultural Crops

      AgriForest Biotech Ltd.'s main objective is to establish a sunlight-
      based plant micro-propagation facility with optimized environmental
      conditions. This will benefit the large-scale production of several
      important commercial plant varieties for the agriculture and
      horticulture industries. The commercial application of this technology
      can produce thousands of clones within a year at a significantly lower
      cost than conventional tissue culture micro-propagation.

    Innovative Food Systems, Princeton, BC
    Sanitation Technologies for Modified Atmosphere Packaged Fruits,
    Vegetable, Flowers

      Innovative Food Systems intends to provide a complete new system for
      the sanitation, preservation, and maintenance of food products that
      will be ripe, ready-to-eat, and in a food safe configuration. The
      sanitation technologies will be synergistic to developing the modified
      atmosphere box and lid technologies recently patented. The production
      processes of the greenhouse, orchard and field crop industries will be
      enhanced to provide sanitized fresh produce.

BCIC's mission is to promote the development of entrepreneurs and the commercialization of technology through startup companies and partnerships between industry and academia.

BCIC would like to thank the sponsors of the Innovation Summit 2010 for their generous support.

About the BC Innovation Council:

The British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) develops entrepreneurial talent and commercializes technology through startup companies and partnerships between industry and academia. BCIC focuses on competitively positioning British Columbia in today's global knowledge economy in order to provide significant employment opportunities and a high standard of living for British Columbians. BCIC is a Crown agency of the Province of British Columbia. For more information about BCIC, visit www.bcic.ca.

About the BCIC CAT Competition

The BCIC Commercialization of Agricultural Technology (CAT) Competition is focused on strengthening BC's agriculture, food and bioproducts sectors. It bridges the gap between research and industry by transforming innovations into real-world solutions. There are two stages to the competition: The Expression of Interest (EOI) stage and the Proof of Concept stage. For more information about the BCIC CAT Competition, visit www.bcic.ca/industry/life-sciences.

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For further information: Irene Phan, Marketing and Communications Specialist, BC Innovation Council, (604) 602-5238, 1-800-665-7222, iphan@bcic.ca