Government of Canada invests in Canadian innovators developing solutions to improve food safety and plant health

News release

January 26, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is investing in Canadian small businesses to develop innovative tools, products and services that are vital to the keeping Canada's food, plants and animals safe.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced that $500,000 will be awarded to a Canadian small business, iFood Packaging Systems Corporation (Summerland, British Columbia) through the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program's phase 2 prototype development challenge. As methyl bromide- the current phytosanitary treatment method to control plant pests and pathogens- gets phased out due to its ozone depleting properties, this funding will be used to develop an innovative phytosanitary treatment solution that is more eco-friendly.

Through ISC, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency also launched a new challenge related to developing a portable test to detect domoic acid in marine waters. Acute poisoning can be life threatening and cumulative low doses over time can cause cognitive disability or illness. Therefore, the intent of this device will be to inform harvesters of potential domoic acid risk in real-time which will help enhance food safety initiatives and save resources associated with food safety investigations, recall, and costly product destruction activities.

These ISC challenges provide opportunities for business-research collaboration between Canadian small businesses and the Government of Canada. Through these partnerships, we can support the advancement of science, innovation, and enable evidence-based decision-making to safeguard Canada's food, plants and animals, and consequently the health of Canadians and our environment.


"To protect the health and safety of Canadians and our environment, pushing the limits on technology and innovation is crucial. Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program and small businesses like iFood Packaging Systems Corporation, we can support more eco-friendly treatment solutions that will protect our food, plants, and animals. These type of food safety and security initiatives are helping us work together to minimize long-term health risks and keep Canada healthy."

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

"Programs such as Innovative Solutions Canada give the Government of Canada the opportunity to collaborate with small businesses and support Canadian innovators. The development of an environmentally-friendly alternative phytosanitary treatment method and the ability to test domoic acid in marine water at the source will help protect Canadians and our environment while keeping Canada's and food supply safe."

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Our government is committed to supporting Canadian small and medium-sized businesses. By investing in their innovative solutions, we are giving them the opportunity to play a significant part in ensuring food safety and plant health, while providing the tools and opportunities they need to grow and succeed."

– The Honourable Francois- Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) is a research and development procurement program administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada where 21 federal departments and agencies invite small businesses to develop novel solutions to Government of Canada challenges or to propose their late-stage prototypes ready to be tested in real-life settings with the ultimate goal of promoting the growth of Canada's firms while helping support the participating government organizations' mandate, such as the CFIA

  • These challenges result in innovative solutions to challenges faces by the agency, or fill a gap in the marketplace for the industry we regulate

Associated links


For further information

Marianne Dandurand
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communication Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Ottawa, Ontario

Media Relations

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

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