Québec International (QI) is pleased to announce that three international biofood companies have begun operations in the region. The Nutrition and Functional Foods Institute (Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels/INAF) has entered into partnership agreements with each of these companies. At a meeting in Quebec City to mark the international conference on health ingredients and foods, BENEFIQ 2016, Jesse Vincent-Herscovici, Senior Account Manager and Team Lead, Major Accounts, Mitacs Inc., a Nestlé partner; Kurt Johnson, CEO of R-Biopharm; and Yannick Riou, President of Diana Food, presented their respective projects alongside the INAF.
In this regard, the CEO of Québec International, Carl Viel, noted that the convergence of interests between the region's driving forces and local companies' needs is a key asset that fosters the pursuit of close collaboration, particularly in the areas of research, science, healthcare, education and technology. He also stressed the importance of science/business links to regional economic vitality.
"These three inspirational initiatives are important for regional economic development. Québec International's support for these partnerships confirms our commitment to encouraging innovation and stimulating the regional economy."
Renée Michaud, Executive Director and Development Director at the INAF, noted that the three partnerships attest to global awareness of the region's expertise in what has been an extraordinary year for the organization. "Companies from around the world recognize our researchers' expertise in high-priority areas such as biofood, nutrition and healthcare. They know that being associated with high-level researchers gives them a competitive advantage."
The announced projects involve the following participants:
With a branch office in Quebec City, Mitacs Inc., a Nestlé partner, seeks to identify and foster R&D opportunities in Canada. The project in question aims to boost university/industry collaboration in the area of health food via research and training programs.
Originally founded in Germany, R-Biopharm is one of the world's leading diagnostic organizations. It will be initially investing $250,000 in support of research on food allergy management under the direction of the INAF's Dr. Samuel Godefroy.
Headquartered in France, Diana Food is a global leader in the area of custom-tailored organoleptic and nutritional solutions based on natural ingredients. The company recently acquired Nutra Canada, which specializes in the manufacture of fruit and vegetable extracts. As a result of this acquisition, the company has secured prime access to Quebec-grown cranberries and blueberries with a view to stimulating regional production of these berries, which have unique health properties.
Québec International contributes to the regional economic development of the Quebec City metropolitan region and promotes Quebec City's international standing. As the pre-eminent regional economic development agency, Quebec International fosters business growth, supports key clusters and attracts talent and investment. For further information, please visit www.quebecinternational.ca.
Laval University's Nutrition and Functional Foods Institute (Institut sur la nutrition et les aliments fonctionnels/INAF) is Canada's largest group of researchers entirely dedicated to studying foods and their components in connection with links between nutrition, health and chronic disease prevention. Founded in 2001, the INAF has 80 researchers on staff, primarily from Laval University's Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmacy. Pursuing an international mission, the INAF is focused on research, training, knowledge transfers and innovation.
BENEFIQ is Canada's largest business/science gathering in the area of health ingredients and foods. The third edition of this event will be held at Quebec City's convention centre (Centre des congrès) from October 4-6, 2016. Organized by Laval University's INAF, BENEFIQ is expected to attract some 500 participants.