Promoting Innovation

One of the Cluster’s key objectives is to support innovation and growth for business. The Cluster is a place to link businesses with academic institutions and researchers where they can connect to tackle real business challenges and real business issues. Through our partners, companies can access support to help them on a number of fronts, including testing new products, product innovation, manufacturing process improvements, HR support and other important business needs.


Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 15 years. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and both federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.


Colleges Ontario

Colleges have long had an explicit mandate to strengthen local communities through well-established partnerships with local businesses. With ongoing technological change and globalization, employers are asking colleges to provide graduates who can succeed in more innovative workplaces. Employers are also asking colleges to help them with practical applied research projects that address their own customers’ evolving requirements.

Each year, college-based industry experts work with more than 500 companies on market-driven applied research that creates new products, services and processes. These projects range from biotechnology to advanced manufacturing, information technologies, and video gaming.

Colleges have developed a sophisticated applied research infrastructure designed to work directly with businesses to solve immediate problems and meet specific goals through applied, market-driven R&D and commercialization.

Colleges recognize the importance of ‘de-risking’ projects, by working to ensure research results can be scaled-up to meet production requirements in a cost-effective and time-sensitive context. They are experienced in working with businesses that may not have the resources to conduct research on their own.

Contact the industry applied research office at the college closest to you to access the college-based industry experts you need to solve production or process challenges you face. To find a link to colleges in Ontario, please click here.


One of the goals of the GTA Food and Beverage Cluster is to support start-up food manufacturing businesses in the region. We know that one of the challenges many start-ups have is finding physical space to test their products and grow their business.

Food Starter (formerly known as the Toronto Food Business Incubator) helps early stage food processors commercialize and scale the development of their food products. It provides access to a shared production facility and equipment, along with business advisory services and structured training to help companies scale and grow their food processing businesses. Food Starter is operated by a not-for-profit board.

Click here for more information.