New partnership advances cellular agriculture in Canada

The partnership to open a 130,000-square-foot manufacturing facility
calendar icon 5 November 2022
clock icon 4 minute read

The Cultivated B. announce an expansion in cellular agriculture operations to Canada, opening their 130,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and innovation hub in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Ontario Genomics is partnering on the creation of this innovation hub to build on the momentum of this budding cellular agriculture ecosystem. 

The Cultivated B. (TCB) is a bioengineering company that provides access to plant-based and cell-based alternative protein sources and plans to hire over 200 employees at the new facility in the coming years. The facility will develop and produce bioreactors from 500 ml to 25,000 liters, photobioreactors and high-precision devices for cellular agriculture and precision fermentation. This will enable other businesses to produce alternative proteins at an industrial scale, whether in the cultivated meat, ingredients, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic industries. The facility will further house PreFer Industries, a subsidiary of The Cultivated B., focusing on developing alternative, particularly plant-based protein sources through precision fermentation.

Earlier this month at Toronto Global, TCB and Ontario Genomics signed a memorandum of understanding to drive forward a shared vision of developing the cellular agriculture ecosystem within Ontario and Canada, and offering opportunities to companies within the cellular agriculture and biotechnology industries. This strategic partnership will see approximately 20,000 square foot of the building dedicated to growing an innovation hub, providing small and mid-size cellular agriculture and other biotechnology companies with access to laboratory space, bioreactors and mentorship to test and scale up their products. Enabling access to this necessary and specialized infrastructure will help shape the landscape of the cellular agriculture industry within Canada and drive forward further growth.

“This facility in Canada is more than just a production site. Alongside the development and production of pioneering technology and bioreactors, we want to help other enterprises in the cellular agriculture and pharmaceutical industry flourish,” said Hamid R. Noori, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Cultivated B. “Our innovation hub, in particular, will help shape the landscape for cellular agriculture in the country and fill a major gap that we saw. We have aligned our goals with the government and Ontario Genomics, and I look forward to seeing how we will drive forward innovation and economic development together.”

“Canada, and specifically Ontario, has an opportunity to be at the forefront of a transformative industry. Our partnership with TCB will support biotechnology startups as they scale up their capacity to produce much needed foods, ingredients and materials,” said Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO, at Ontario Genomics. “There is undeniable growing consumer demand and huge industry momentum for these new and innovative products. This partnership is a critical next step for Canada to act on a window of opportunity to enhance resiliency in food supply chains while meeting common food security and sustainability goals.”

“Cells are essentially machines, and we are redesigning cells and plants to have them operate in the exact way we desire. Our new facility in Canada is a massive leap forward and a driving force behind this next industrial revolution,” said Raphael Heiner, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Cultivated B. “We are striving to use natural resources more efficiently, and our innovation hub will support other businesses working toward the same goal.”

Since 2019, Ontario Genomics has been driving the growth of the cellular agriculture community in Ontario and Canada. In November 2021, Ontario Genomics released the report Cellular Agriculture – Canada’s $12.5 Billion Opportunity in Food Innovation, featuring extensive stakeholder input and economic analysis. The report found that the cellular agriculture industry is rapidly evolving and suggests a Canadian economic opportunity as high as $12.5 billion per year with the creation of up to 142,000 jobs. To achieve this, the country must develop a national vision and strategy for the Canadian cellular agriculture industry in the near term, establish a clear and transparent regulatory framework for cellular agriculture products in Canada, and provide supporting mechanisms for research and commercial development.

Following the report, in May 2022, Ontario Genomics and the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) announced more than $900K in funding for four cutting-edge cellular agriculture-focused food and beverage projects through their AcCELLerate-ON competition. AcCELLerate-ON is Canada’s first cellular agriculture-focused competition supporting the research and development of novel and innovative viable food production methods with the intent to drive economic growth and Ontario’s global leadership in this new and sustainable way to produce food. Ontario Genomics recently announced their new BioCreate program open to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southern Ontario seeking to commercialize genomics and engineering biology enabled products and/or technologies in the health, food and agriculture and cleantech sectors. Today’s announcement presents the next step to drive Ontario’s leadership in the cellular agriculture space, while creating the jobs, driving economic growth and the sustainable production of food and food ingredients for Ontario, and beyond.

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