George Brown College receives $7m federal investment in support of food and beverage sector applied research

TORONTO, July 22, 2015 /CNW/ - In support of Canada's growing food and beverage sectors in Ontario and Toronto, George Brown College has received a $7m investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to expand its applied research capabilities to support 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 GTA markets, and commercialization support. New state-of-the-art applied research spaces located at George Brown's Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at 215 King Street East and 300 Adelaide Street East will provide small- and medium-sized companies with the necessary equipment, testing and development space and networking opportunities to bring new products and services to market.

The $7 million investment by FedDev Ontario's Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative 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, to support the introduction and launch of new food products and services.

George Brown's focus on applied research allows the college to enrich the learning of students in exciting and novel ways, in keeping with its commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities.

"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."

George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its three campuses located across the downtown core, students can earn diplomas, postgraduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees.

As part of its focus on ensuring the innovation economy is benefiting from workers with the right technical and people skills, George Brown College has made it a mission to support and advance industry- and community-problem solving through excellence in applied research, commercialization and scholarship.

SOURCE George Brown College

For further information: Joyann Callender, Manager Media Relations, George Brown College, 416-415-5000, ext. 3159, jcallender3@georgebrown.ca

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http://www.gbrownc.on.ca

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