Fostering Innovation Through Research
Food from Thought contributes to the development of new initiatives and enhancements to programs at the University of Guelph that provide first-rate research training and development to faculty, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students.
Policy Fellowship Program
Policy Fellowship program, funded by Food from Thought, brings senior decision-makers from various levels of government, industry, and NGOs to the University of Guelph to participate in a three-day program. The only one of its kind in Canada, this unique experience involves focused conversations and opportunities for Policy Fellows to learn about cutting-edge research that gives them new, science-based perspectives to inform policy decisions.
Food from Thought Innovation & Commercialization Grants
Food from Thought has invested $315,000 to equip researchers with the skills and tools needed to commercialize their research and develop their intellectual property into new products and processes. Over the past four years, Food from Thought has supported 13 researchers with commercialization grants. U of G researchers who are working on new technologies that will propel Food from Thought’s mission forward can take advantage of funding and learning programs. Besides providing researchers with assistance in moving projects forward, these programs will enable research teams to create tools and platforms that can be adapted to solve problems in the wider agri-food ecosystem.
Skills for Research Impact Workshops
This workshop series is a collaboration between the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) and the Research Innovation Office at the University of Guelph. Monthly workshops are offered to faculty, research staff, and graduate students interested in enhancing their research impact. Through nine hands-on sessions facilitated by impact experts, participants learn how to successfully plan, execute, and evaluate knowledge mobilization (or knowledge translation and transfer) activities. This series aims to improve research communications and engagement with non-academic audiences, including policy, industry, and community stakeholders. In all, 113 participants attended eight workshops offered in 2019-20 on topics including Planning for Research Impact, Stakeholder Engagement, Clear Language Writing, Design Principles, Website Design and Accessibility, Social Media, Event Planning, and Evaluation KTT.
Innovation Immersion Placements (2019 Pilot Program)
This program enables faculty, post-doctoral researchers, or graduate students to spend one to three months working with an innovative agri-food company in their area of interest. Participants acquire practical business and entrepreneurial skills/strategies that support applied research and commercially focused problem solving during the placement.
UNIV*6050 HQP Course: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agri-food Systems
Food from Thought has created a new graduate-level training course offered to all students receiving funding through Food from Thought, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs HQP scholarship, or scholarship holders through the Arrell Food Institute. This eight-month course aims to expose students to a wide range of agri-food related challenges and mentor students in the “foundational skills” of project management, teamwork, plain language communication, and conflict resolution.
Each year students are placed into multidisciplinary teams and are assigned a project defined by a non-academic partner. Each group is given a small budget and tasked with developing a work plan and final deliverables. Students are assessed and graded on their project pitch, the best uses of social media, and media training. We are proud to offer this highly interdisciplinary course in partnership with colleagues from the Government of Ontario, the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, and the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph.