The Food & Beverage Innovation Centre receives funding support to help businesses develop and market beverages

Student Research technologist, assistant and scientific manager working in FBIC's Food Chemistry Lab.

(From left to right) A research & development technologist, student research assistant and scientific manager from the Food & Beverage Innovation Centre working on wet chemistry and spectroscopy to ensure the quality of various food and beverage products in the food chemistry laboratory at the Daniel J. Patterson campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara College is excited to share that the Food & Beverage Innovation Centre (FBIC) will receive funding of up to $50,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). This support will help FBIC deliver services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to de-risk innovation in new beverage product development, which includes prototyping, food safety guidance, testing and producing marketable products at FBIC’s new Beverage Research & Development Pilot Processing Facility.

Having achieved their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification, FBIC can now help industry partners to be market-ready by focusing on getting the food safety and quality parameters right at the initial stages of development, so they can prove their concept in the market, and be confident in the next steps of scaling to commercial co-packing/manufacturing. FBIC de-risks the product launch process and plugs in where you need support most.

This NRC IRAP funding allows FBIC to connect SMEs with our highly qualified and experienced FBIC staff, faculty, recent graduates, and students, with the right expertise and equipment to meet their needs and provide solutions for industry innovation challenges.

“We’re grateful for NRC IRAP’s support as contributions such as these allow the FBIC team to continue their work that positively impacts industry, as well as adding to a unique student experience,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Strategic Enterprises.

A pilot plant production specialist and student research assistant in FBIC's Beverage Processing Plant.

(From left to right) A pilot plant production specialist and student research assistant optimizing processing parameters of the homogenizer and microthermics in the Beverage Processing Pilot Plant at the Daniel J. Patterson campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Project intake is ongoing and open until March 31, 2024. The average project value will be between $12,500 to $15,000 – comprised of $10,000 NRC IRAP funding and industry cash. To participate, SMEs must pay an up-front service fee on average of $2,500 before work commences.

The target clients for this pilot include SMEs innovating in beverage production as well as spoonable and pourable foods, including non-alcoholic, low alcohol, or alternative products (like plant-based and functional beverages like sports drinks, etc.).

To be eligible, small- and medium-sized enterprises must be NRC IRAP clients referred by an Industrial Technology Advisor or Client Engagement Advisor.


NC’s award-winning Research & Innovation division administers research funding through investments from various regional, provincial, and federal agencies. Students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty and staff researchers to assist industry partners’ leap forward in the marketplace. Students come from a variety of the College’s programs, such as the Commercial Cannabis Production Program, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Culinary Innovation and Food Technology, Business Administration – Marketing, and Computer Programmer.

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of close to 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at