In June 2019, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) organized the EU-Canada Cluster Matchmaking Event 2019 in cooperation with the Canadian Superclusters initiative in Toronto, Canada. The overall objective of the event was to foster collaborations between European and Canadian clusters for the benefit of their SME members.
The EU-Canada Cluster Matchmaking Event was the opportunity for local partner Natural Products Canada (NPC) through the voice of Sue Coueslan, VP, communication & stakeholder relations, to send a key message about their collaboration with New Frontiers In Food – Fast Forward (NF4), insisting on the value of this collaboration: “it takes time to develop a truly effective partnership, but it’s highly worth it”.
The relationship between NPC and the European consortium of NF4 has been progressively established since a partnership mission to Canada in October 2016. This mission was carried out within New Frontiers In Food (NFIF, of which NF4 is the follow-up program) and coordinated by consortium member Vitagora. Organised in parallel to BENEFIQ, the healthy food event organized by INAF (Institut sur la Nutrition et l’Alimentation Fonctionnelle) in Québec, the 2018 mission also drew on the support of Natural Products Canada as the local partner.
The 2018 delegation to Canada brought together 13 participants from NFIF members Vitagora and Wagralim. Within this delegation, 6 companies have remained a part of the NF4 cohort: Atelier du Fruit (FR), BIOptimize (FR), Extense Pharma (BE), Improve (FR), Vesale Pharma (BE) et Youmeal (BE).
Strong relationships were developed within the delegation, resulting even in new partnerships between European players. The mission was also the opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between NF4 and the Canadian entity NPC, building on these relationships to create a path for future joint actions as both parties are strongly committed to supporting SMEs in the development of EU-Canada partnerships.