$1.4 Million Initiative for B.C.'s Agriculture, Food and Bioproducts Sectors


    ABBOTSFORD, BC, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) has
released a set of new programs under the BCIC Agriculture, Food and
Bioproducts Innovation Fund committed to improving the competitiveness,
sustainability, and technological advancement of the agriculture, food and
bioproducts sectors in B.C., announced Agriculture and Lands Minister Ron

    The announcement was made in conjunction with the 7th Annual AgriFood
Industry Gala in Abbotsford, where over 450 members of B.C.'s food and wine
industry gathered to recognize leadership in B.C.'s agriculture industry.

    "In today's challenging economic climate, it's even more imperative to
encourage dialogue and activity between research and industry," said Small
Business, Technology and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong. "The
Council's initiative encourages the transfer of knowledge between the two
groups and turning commercial potential into a reality."

    In developing the fund, BCIC assembled an advisory group of
representatives from industry, research and government to identify constraints
and opportunities in B.C.'s agriculture, food and bioproducts sectors. After
seven months of in-depth consultation, the result was relevant programs
bridging gaps between B.C.'s research institutions and industry application.

    "The agriculture industry is one of the most innovative and diverse of
all B.C.'s industries," said Cantelon. "These funds build on that success by
establishing strong research and industry ties and exploring new technological
opportunities for entrepreneurs in agriculture, food and bioproducts."

    About the BCIC Agriculture, Food and Bioproducts Innovation Fund

    The initiative, provided through the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands as
part of a $3.5 million fund, aims to increase the transfer of knowledge and
commercialization of new science and technology-based innovations through the
following initiatives:

    -   CAT Competition (Commercialization of Agriculture Technology
        Competition) encourages entrepreneurial success in bringing relevant
        innovations to market.

    -   Commercialization roadmap tool guides decision-makers in taking their
        innovative ideas from concept evaluation to product or service

    -   Agri-Food Innovation Summit focuses on building business
        partnerships, knowledge transfer, and commercialization of new and
        innovative technology applications for B.C.'s agriculture, food and
        bioproducts sectors.

    For more information about the BCIC Agriculture, Food and Bioproducts
Innovation Fund, visit www.bcic.ca/industry/life-sciences.

    About the BC Innovation Council

    The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) is the lead organization charged with
advancing innovation and commercialization in British Columbia. BCIC is
focused on accelerating the growth of our science and technology communities
and competitively positioning British Columbia in the global science and
technology 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

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Stephanie Leung, Communications
Coordinator, British Columbia Innovation Council, (604)
602-5249/1-800-665-7222, sleung@bcic.ca

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