The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre will use more than $350,000 in federal funding to grow and develop agri-food business in the Algoma region.
A Feb. 23 FedNor announcement noted the innovation centre would receive $356,455 from the Northern Ontario Development Program, which will be used for two separate initiatives.
Of the total, $278,000 will go to the Sustainable Northern Agri-Food Products and Productivity Program (SNAPP), which provides up to $5,000 to applicants to purchase equipment or materials to extend their production season, enhance productivity, or create new primary or processed food and fibre products.
The remaining $78,455 will support a regional study of local and wild food market supply and demand with the goal of diversifying traditional industries and increasing access to markets for new value-added products. The research will be undertaken within the Algoma, Manitoulin, Sudbury and Nipissing Districts and will serve to accelerate business expansion and support job creation.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Government of Canada through FedNor to expand SNAPP and provide support for clean technology projects and undertake the regional study of local and wild foods to help our agri-food businesses grow their markets and create jobs,” said Don MacLennan, acting executive director at the innovation centre, in a release.
“We are extremely proud of the success and evolution of the SNAPP program and we are excited about the social and economic benefits it will deliver for Northern Ontario.”
Since its inception in 2016, SNAPP has invested $417,000 in support of 82 projects with agri-food businesses and organizations across Northern Ontario. Following the completion of this three-year initiative, SNAPP is expected to help create and maintain more than 170 jobs, while helping participating businesses increase sales by more than $3 million.