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Canada and Quebec unveil the new Innov’Action Agri-Food Program

Senator Jean Guy Dagenais, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable François Gendron, Deputy Premier of Quebec and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the member for Labelle and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides region, Sylvain Pagé, are pleased to announce the launch of the Innov’Action Agri-Food Program. The purpose of this financial assistance program, which has a budget of over $31 million, is to enhance the competitiveness of Quebec’s agriculture and food processing companies by supporting research and innovation. It is funded by the governments of Canada and Quebec under the Canada-Quebec Growing Forward 2 agreement.

“Innovation remains central to the competitiveness and profitability of agriculture and agri-food companies,” said Senator Dagenais. “Growing Forward 2 and the Innov’Action Program enable industry to find solutions to challenges and take advantage of market opportunities. Our government remains committed to supporting research and innovation because they promote the economic growth and long-term prosperity of Quebec.”

“Innovation is paramount. Companies, together with Quebec’s agri-food sector as a whole, must make innovation a constant concern and incorporate it into their vision of the future,” said Minister Gendron. “As I have said before, our government wants to take concrete actions to meet the objectives we have set for ourselves in the Food Sovereignty Policy, particularly with regard to developing the sector’s economic potential. In that respect, the new Innov’Action agri-food program is very timely because it will help our companies be more competitive and hold their own in markets where the competition is tough.”

The Innov’Action Agri-Food Program will replace five research and innovation support programs that ended on March 31, 2013. By consolidating all of the financial assistance, Innov’Action will be positioned to address issues related to developing the economic potential of the agricultural production and food processing sectors and will be more responsive to the expectations of Quebec society. Through its four components, the program will support initiatives involving applied research, business adaptation and technology transfer.

Applied research
The first component of Innov’Action supports the implementation of projects for increasing knowledge stemming from applied research in the priority fields of agricultural production and food processing.

Innovation in food processing products and processes
The third component focuses on the food processing sector. Its purpose is to foster the implementation of projects involving product or process innovations, particularly the development of foods with added nutritional or health benefits. It supports projects aimed at generating product or process innovations or conducting clinical studies.

Networking and collaboration
The fourth component of the program seeks to nurture a culture of innovation in both agricultural production and agri-food processing companies. Activities eligible under this component include networking between the industry and research communities, disseminating good innovation practices, and hosting foreign experts.

Research and technology transfer institutions, dissemination centres, agricultural and food processing companies, and business associations or groups seeking more information about the Innov’Action Agri-Food Program (in French only) can consult the document at http://www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/innovaction.

Growing Forward 2 is a bilateral agreement between the governments of Canada and Quebec with a five-year (2013–2018) budget of $293 million. The purpose of this major agreement is to support strategic initiatives in innovation, competitiveness and market development for the benefit of both the agricultural and food processing sectors. For more information on national Growing Forward 2 initiatives, visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward. For more information on cost-shared Growing Forward 2 programs in Quebec (in French only), visit www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/cultivonslavenir.

by S. C.
04 october 2013, World News > America

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