LifeScanner Wins Top Prize For Its Food Fraud Detector At First Annual Gryphon’s LAAIR Innovation Showcase And Pitch Competition At University Of Guelph

Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Sujeevan Ratnasingham (Grand Prize Winner) and Kevin Piunno (People's Choice Award Winner)
Photo Credit: Kyle Rodriguez of Artifacts for Life Photography

As part of Canadian Innovation Week, The Research Innovation Office at the University of Guelph (UofG), funded by the Ontario government through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, hosted the first annual Gryphon’s LAAIR Innovation Showcase and Pitch Competition.  The event, held on May 21, celebrated the amazing innovators who are putting knowledge into action in ways that have an impact on the Ontario economy and beyond. During the event, six corporations who have roots in the UofG research community pitched for a chance to win $17,500 in cash prizes.

“The Gryphon’s LAAIR program helps UofG researchers to launch innovations into the marketplace. Having supported more than 50 projects since 2014, Gryphon’s LAAIR funding has turned university knowledge into valuable outputs that have generated new enterprises, enhanced business productivity, created jobs, and improved prosperity and people’s lives,” notes Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President Research at the University of Guelph.

LifeScanner was chosen by a jury of high-profile industry judges as the $7,500 grand prize winner of the Gryphon’s LAAIR Innovation Pitch.  We Vitro Inc. was chosen as the People’s Choice winner and will receive $5,000 to invest in the growth of their venture. Other pitch teams included FloNergia Inc., Griffinix, SP Nutraceuticals Inc., and eQcell Inc.

Dr. Sherri Cox speaking at the first annual Gryphon's LAAIR Innovation Showcase and Pitch Competition
Photo Credit: Kyle Rodriguez of Artifacts for Life Photography

Earlier in the day Dr. Sherri Cox, Executive Director of Research Innovation and Knowledge Mobilization, announced the latest recipients sharing a total of $420,000 in Gryphon’s LAAIR funding. Made possible by the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, Gryphon's LAAIR Grants are ideal for identifying target markets and testing concepts with end users.

“Developing and bringing new agri-food products, practices and services to market creates jobs, grows our economy and helps farm businesses succeed,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By investing in research innovation and commercialization, our government is helping to keep Ontario’s agri-food sector strong and competitive.”

The province is investing $420,000 towards ten Gryphon’s LAAIR projects to help students and researchers conduct market research and create new technologies, such as:

  •  Developing of a soy-based fermented cheese
  •  Manufacturing plant-based meat
  •  Developing compostable vegetable packaging
  •  Assessing the market an equine stem cell service and therapeutic biobank
  •  Evaluating the market for a maple syrup protein capsule
  •  Assessing the market for protein-rich peach crisps and powder.

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