Toronto new hotbed for food and beverage industry product development and commercialization

George Brown College facility to support businesses from field to fork

TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - George Brown College has launched a world-class applied research and industry facility with the goal of helping the food and beverage industry produce nutritious and innovative products for Canadian consumers. 

Toronto's food and beverage sector is dominated by small businesses, the backbone of Canadian industry. These small businesses often lack the resources to invest in capital equipment and the expertise necessary to innovate. To address this critical gap, the multifunctional facility, housed within George Brown's Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, will provide access to advanced learning and applied research spaces as well as much-needed opportunities for product development, including prototyping and commercialization support.

"This facility represents why we are one of Canada's foremost leaders in food and beverage research, innovation, and education for industry," says Robert Luke, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, George Brown College. "Not only does this expansion create the conditions for companies to succeed, it also enriches the learning of students and prepares them to become the highly qualified and skilled leaders the growing food and beverage sector needs."

Supported by a $7-million investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and matching George Brown College, donor and industry contributions, the facility will support a diverse group of customers, including restaurants of all types, wine and alcoholic beverage companies, food and beverage processing and manufacturing organizations, foodservice companies, hospitals and other research facilities including universities.

Along with the celebrated Chefs' House restaurant on the first floor, the four-storey, 18,000-square-foot building will house:

  • Industry Engagement and Interaction Facility: a simulation lab on the second floor that will be used for sensory evaluation, product launches and commercialization, and for special events of all kinds.
  • Beverage Research Lab: a beverage research theatre on the third floor that encompasses a world-class wine lab that is available for events such as product and beverage launches, training and testing.

"We're excited that businesses like ours will have the opportunity to leverage George Brown's extensive applied research expertise and resources," says Philippe Roireau, founder of Zpirit Infused Water, a Toronto-based company that makes flavoured beverages low in sugar and calories. "We came to George Brown College to optimize our processes and streamline production, and with the expert help we received, we've been able to expand our product lines and promote a healthy lifestyle to consumers worldwide."

Beginning in early 2016, the college will also provide expanded commercialization capacity on the fourth floor for its existing Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt), and will be constructing new learning and applied research spaces that include a Large Quantity Bake Lab, a Beverage Research Lab and a Large Quantity Culinary Lab.  

"As a leader in foodservice and hospitality education, we are thrilled to be able to provide industry and students with an outstanding new environment in which to study, collaborate, share ideas and solve real-world business problems," says Lorraine Trotter, Dean, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. "This facility will be a vibrant gateway of research excellence, learning and innovation, setting Toronto on the path to becoming the food and beverage capital of Canada."  

George Brown College-led research plays an important role in promoting Canadian innovation. Research Infosource, a leading source of R&D intelligence in Canada, recently recognized George Brown as the top research college in the country. 

About George Brown College

Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, including its newest location at the Toronto waterfront, which opened in September 2012. George Brown offers 149 full-time programs and 224 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of over 28,000 (full-time enrolment) students, including over 3,500 international students; and over 64,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.

To download high resolution images of the building or floors for use in digital or print publications, visit

SOURCE George Brown College

For further information: For more information or to coordinate interviews or filming inside the facility, please contact: Joyann Callender, Manager, Media Relations, George Brown College, 416-415-5000, ext. 3159,


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