The Manitoba government has announced that it is investing $1 million in innovative culinary research at Red River College (RRC).
“This investment helps further cutting-edge research in Manitoba’s agriculture and food industry, and bring new ideas and products to life,” said Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler at the grand opening of RRC’s Prairie Research Kitchen. “Culinary research is an area of tremendous opportunity. The Prairie Research Kitchen provides a pathway to developing agri-food products that are not only good for our health, but are good for the Manitoba economy.”
The Prairie Research Kitchen at RRC’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will provide a dedicated workspace for culinary research and innovation that will serve Western Canada’s food production industry. The facility brings together food scientists, culinary arts and small-to-medium sized businesses to develop new products and teach culinary students food science skills.
“The Prairie Research Kitchen provides an important gateway for industry into the college,” said Darin Brecht, RRC’s interim president and CEO. “And that’s important because we have industry expertise and experience, research and development capacity, leading-edge equipment and lab space – and an eager workforce of students and instructors – all under one roof. It would be difficult for a company – particularly a small one, like many in Manitoba are – to replicate this cluster of resources on their own.”
The province provided $1 million through Research Manitoba toward the construction of the research kitchen. Research Manitoba is a provincial agency that brings provincial research programs together under one umbrella and provides research funding through a number of grants and awards. The project is also funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), which helps ensure Canadian researchers have tools such as cutting-edge labs, facilities and equipment to push the frontiers of knowledge.
Research Manitoba’s matching fund program is a critical component of provincial research funding, matching up to 40 per cent of project totals for proposals that have been awarded grants through CFI.
The minister noted the research kitchen will support Manitoba’s vibrant food industry, which includes more than 250 companies and accounts for $1.63 billion in provincial gross domestic product.