Announcing our bold, new campaign: "Cellular Agriculture for the Public Good."

The 1st Gathering of Canadian Cell Ag Ecosystem

Published May 18, 2023 | Updated May 25, 2023 | Yadira Tejeda-Saldana

Last week, we had the pleasure of bringing together 34 individuals from 30 different organizations across the cellular agriculture ecosystem in Canada.

Co-hosted by New Harvest and Transition Accelerator on La Cité College’s campus in Ottawa, we held a first-of-its-kind workshop focused on addressing Canada’s unique value proposition in this emerging space. We believe this meeting was the spark needed to create a local collective entity dedicated to advancing this field within the Canadian context.

From L to R: Fei Geng, McMaster University; Simon Ongom, New Harvest; Frank Yu, MyoPalate; Isha Datar, New Harvest; Ben MacCormick, Ardra Inc.; Julien Le Roy, La Cité College; Mark Juhasz, Harvest Insights; Geoff Burt, Consecon Foundation; Tarika Vijayaraghavan, Trove Biosciences; Oscar Melo, Getinge; Lejjy Gafour, CULT Food Science; Kim Ong, Vireo Advisors; Evan Fraser, Arrell Food Institute, University of Guelph; Jennifer Côté, Opalia Foods; Don Gerson, PnuVax Inc., Dawne Skinner, New Harvest Research Fellow, Dalhousie University; Pooya Mamaghani, Genuine Taste Ltd.; Lorne Johnson, Ivey Foundation; Yadira Tejeda-Saldana, New Harvest; James Meadowcroft, Transition Accelerator; Lee Kruszewski, InnoTech Alberta; Anna Canto, Spiderwort Inc.; Dan Lussier, EMILI Canada; Paige Wilcoxson, New Harvest; Michelle Bamji-Mirza, La Cité College; Heather Bruce, University of Alberta; Orly Weinberg, Concordia University; Sudhanshu Sudan, The Better Butchers; Avi Sheshachalam, Future Fields; Sammy Bajwa, Synphonee; Kevin Chen, Hyasynth Bio. Not pictured: Josh Pollack, Cell Ag Tech; Mahzad Sharifahmadian, District 3 Innovation Center; Rebecca Aldworth, Humane Society International

As someone who has been advancing cellular agriculture in Canada since 2019, the event was a dream come true.

It was incredible to see the community come together and openly discuss the challenges and opportunities specific to cell ag in Canada to set a path forward for our field. We talked about incentives, infrastructure, supply chains, and more.

Highlights included presentations from James Meadowcroft of the Transition Accelerator on Sectoral Transformations, pointing to learnings from previous transitions, such as in energy, and from Dr. Don Gerson, New Harvest Board Member, on the hopeful realities of building large scale bioprocess facilities. La Cité’s team showed several interested participants the labs where they are hosting and supporting multiple cell ag companies, too.

After two days of workshop sessions we arrived at a set of key community-led collective actions to be pursued in the near and medium term that will best set us up for shared success.

Many thanks to Transition Accelerator, Consecon Foundation, La Cité College, Lejjy Gafour, and New Harvest’s donor community for making this event possible.

About the Authors
Yadira Tejeda-Saldana is New Harvest's Director of Responsible Research & Innovation - Canada