Canada’s Smartest Kitchen a feast of innovation for businesses and industry

Posted on November 01, 2021 | Atlantic Business Magazine | 0 Comments



Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (CSK) at Holland College in Charlottetown is a unique blend of global culinary expertise and food science for entrepreneurs and large scale multi-national companies hoping to bring new, or relaunch existing, food products to market.

With services ranging from product development and sensory analysis to food styling, “we view R&D and innovation as a dynamic and exciting process,” says its director, Tim McRoberts. “We have the experience and know-how to work with clients and distill their vision into a series of steps.”

CSK—a Technology Access Centre and R&D arm of the Culinary Institute of Canada—deploys these steps through its proprietary SMART process (strategic business review, market assessment, accelerated concept ideation, research and development, and technical scaleup) to deliver on a client’s real needs.

“We understand that R&D is a journey. We work with clients to understand the pieces of that journey in practical terms.” McRoberts says.

The centre’s association with applied research at Holland College—which gives it access to expertise, students, spaces, equipment, and additional programs—also helps move the process forward. “Holland College can tap into funding that clients can’t access on their own,” notes Shawn MacDougall, director of applied research, who points to the “perfect mix” of both food science and culinary expertise on staff at CSK.

“That includes leveraging the support of provincial and regional ecosystems to lessen the financial risk associated with innovation commercialization,” he says. “Plus, the College always supports students who are eager to work on industry-based collaborations which, in turn, provides value back to the companies.”

Adds McRoberts: “It’s this partnership with the College that bolsters CSK’s position as a unique service provider. We bring together seasoned chefs, food science experts, and business development specialists into the product development process. When it comes to flavours, trends, and understanding food and beverage iterations, we are here to support entrepreneurs and industry in Atlantic Canada. •

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