Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
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Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
Food Innovation

Growing and diversifying Alberta's food industry

Alberta has a rich agriculture industry, which produces a variety of crops and livestock products that can be processed into ingredients, food products, beverages, functional foods, and natural health products. Food processing businesses had sales of $12.6 billion in 2013, [Source: Alberta Agriculture] an economic contribution to the manufacturing sector surpassed only by the chemical and refined petroleum products industries.

New food ingredients, food products, beverages, functional foods and natural health products

AI Bio is committed to investing in research and innovation that results in new food products that are competitive in the domestic and global marketplace, respond to consumer demand, add value to commodities, and promote wellness and/or prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Food Safety - technologies, products and processes to control food-borne pathogens

AI Bio invests in research and innovation that contributes to better detection and intervention strategies that reduce pathogenic E. coli, Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., and Campylobacter spp. in Alberta livestock, crops, and food and beverage products. We also support research leading to new food safety policies and enhanced consumer confidence and market access. 

AI Bio's Projects, Programs, Initiatives, and Events in Food Innovation


For a listing of AI Bio's research projects focused on food innovation, view the summary excel spreadsheet at Project Investments by Fiscal Year or visit our BioLINK research project database for specific projects. 


October, 2015

Success Story

Biopreservative Limits  Listeria  Growth on Ready-to-Eat Meats (Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency)

EColi detection device

Supported by AI Bio, a U of A research team, led by Drs McMullen and Pilarski, are developing a mobile device to quickly detect the presence of EColi within one shift in a meat production plant.  Read abstracts and reports on BioLINK for project BIO-13-003 and BIO-14-011.

June 9, 2015

News Story

Alberta researchers hot on the trail of deadly bacteria (Alberta Farmer Express)

May 13, 2015


"Hello E.coli, Are You There?"(see   video PowerPoint )
DR. LYNN MCMULLEN, Professor, Food Microbiology, University of Alberta, Presentation at AI Bio's Impact Innovation 2015


Accelerating Food Innovation in Alberta
2017-18 Application of Research or Technology for New Product Development 
OPEN - Aug 3, 2017 

Alberta Innovates is pleased to announce this funding program for 2017-18. Designed to provide funding for applied research and product development, the program helps to bring together food processors and academic researchers in a unique initiative that supports the development of globally competitive food innovations for entry into local, national or international markets. It aims to support Alberta food, beverage, and NHP processors in their efforts to increase revenues from value-added food production. Read more.

Agriculture Funding Consortium    ANNUAL INTAKE EVERY SEPTEMBER

AI Bio participates in the annual call for research proposals by the Agriculture Funding Consortium, some of which are food innovation projects. This funding program is focused on supporting curiosity-driven basic or applied research projects in any of the priority areas of the 15 consortium members.  The consortium is an informal alliance among three main agricultural research funding agencies, including AI Bio, and an additional 12 associate members in an effort to align and coordinate an annual research application process using a one-window online approach.

Accelerating Food Innovation in Alberta
2015/16 Applied Research and Product Development Program      CLOSED
Launched on June 24, 2015, the program is designed to provide funding to researchers for applied research and product development in the area of food, with a focus on the development of value added ingredients, food products, and or beverages that are derived from Alberta crop or livestock commodities.  The program helps to bring together academic researchers with food processors in a unique initiative that supports development of globally competitive new food innovations for entry into local, national or international markets. Researchers are invited to submit a Letter of intent (LOI) to the program as the first step in the application process for a non-repayable grant of up to $150,000. Click here for more information.

Accelerating Food Innovation in Alberta
2014/15 Applied Research and Product Development Program
Launched on March 7, 2014, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions' $1.5 million "Accelerating Food Innovation in Alberta - 2014-15 Applied Research and Product Development Program" was designed to support Alberta food and beverage producers and processors in their efforts to increase revenues from value-added food production. 

2012 Food Safety Program      CLOSED
Launched on May 1, 2012 in collaboration with Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, this program is focused on building on Alberta's already excellent reputation in food safety and contribute to the reduction of food borne illnesses. Read the launch information bulletin.  The aim of the program is to improve the health and well being of Albertans while maintaining consumer confidence in the province's food and agricultural industries. Applications were received from 35 individuals.

Application of Genomic Tools to the Detection and Surveillance of Listeria monocytogenes      CLOSED
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Genome Canada and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions are partnering in a $600,000 project that will help protect consumers from Listeriosis, a serious foodborne illness. The project aims to map the genome of Listeria bacteria so that more rapid tests can be developed. Read the launch news release issued by Genome Canada on July 26, 2012. Read news release announcing successful grant recipients. View photos. Listen to Genome Alberta's audio interview with Dr. Chui here.

Quality Food for Health     CLOSED
Announced on June 1, 2012, the projects funded under AI Bio's Quality Food for Health program are focused on improving the health and well being of Albertans while increasing the competitiveness of the province's food and agricultural industries. For a listing of these projects, view the summary page at Quality Food for Health Project List. The majority of these projects conclude in 2015-16.



Alberta Innovates Food Innovation Plan 2014-17

Developed by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, the Alberta Innovates Food Innovation Plan 2014-17 is a guide to focus Alberta Innovates future food and beverage research and innovation investments.

Alberta Unbound: Research and Innovation Opportunities in Alberta's Food Sector (October 2013)

Commissioned by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions to help guide its business activities in food innovation, the Conference Board of Canada has conducted a comprehensive assessment of Alberta's food innovation potential. The report outlines food innovation and industry trends, their alignment to domestic and global market opportunities, and provides advice on implementing strategies and addressing challenges.



Ingredients for Success: The Conference on Food Innovation 2015
May 26-27, 2015
Calgary, Alberta
Hosted by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

Last updated: Friday, August 4, 2017