SDTC Seed Fund recipients offer sustainable solutions for Canada’s food supply chain  

July 14, 2020

OTTAWA, ON, July 14, 2020 – Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) today announced funding for four Canadian start-up companies in the food, agriculture and aquaculture. Two of the firms are based in Halifax, one in St. John’s, and one in Montreal.     

One of these companies is an agtech firm developing organic products to replace chemicals for disease control. One is building new software in the dairy industry to manage the milk supply chain more efficiently. A third firm is using artificial intelligence to reduce food waste and mortality on fish farms. The fourth team is also working in the fish industry, developing active compostable packaging that extends the shelf life of fresh fish.  

The funding comes from SDTC’s Seed Fund. Piloted in 2019, the Seed Fund can support up to 100 companies per year. Successful applicants receive between $50,000 to $100,000 from SDTC, enabling them to unlock even greater funding from their private equity partners. In total, 17 small businesses received funding from SDTC in the first round of 2020-2021, which concluded at the end of June.       

Central to the success of SDTC’s Seed Fund is its partnership model. SDTC partners with business accelerators and incubators across the country to identify high-potential start-up firms. With specialized knowledge of their regions and target industries, the accelerators nominate companies in their portfolios that meet SDTC funding criteria. Any accelerator in Canada is welcome to apply to SDTC to be a partner in the Seed Fund.  

“When it comes to clean technology, Canada is a true global leader, creating good jobs for Canadians while helping meet our climate change goals. Today’s investment will have a direct impact across the food, agriculture and aquaculture industries to improve sustainability and efficiency, while reducing waste.”  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development 

“The Seed Fund is helping SDTC to extend our reach into emerging areas of innovation in sectors and regions that might surprise Canadians. By creating innovative solutions to keep food fresh, reduce waste and bring products to market more efficiently, these entrepreneurs are important contributors to advancing cleantech in Canada.” – Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada 

A list of the agriculture and food sector companies and their accelerator sponsors appears below. The second call for Seed Fund applications of 2020-2021 will launch this Fall.  

  1. Impactful Health Research & Development Inc. (Montreal, QC), supported by Innovacorp, is developing active compostable packaging to extend the shelf life of fresh foods, particularly fish, increasing return on investment along the value chain while reducing waste. 
  1. Milk Moovement (St. John’s, NL), supported by Genesis, develops cloud-based software to improve the efficiency of the dairy supply chain through features like transport monitoring, production tracking and route optimization, reducing the carbon footprint of dairy trucks. 
  1. Reazent (Halifax, NS), supported by Verschuren Centre, makes efficient, high-efficacy organic replacements for agrochemicals. These products help in crop disease control, yield growth, and abiotic stress resistance in the agricultural industry. 
  1. ReelData (Halifax, NS), supported by Innovacorp, is developing artificial intelligence and computer vision software for aquacultureproviding real time metrics to fish farms. This reduces wasted fish feed and mortality by tracking fish health, hunger, and weight.