The Cultivated B, a bioengineering company establishes a $50 million manufacturing operation in Burlington Ontario.
The arrival to Burlington of The Cultivated B will put the city at the heart of a critical new biotechnology cluster in Canada.
The bioengineering company, a subsidiary of Germany’s InFamily Foods, develops technology for cellular agriculture.
The Cultivated B is making a $50-million investment in a manufacturing and innovation centre that will lead the way on the development of alternative proteins for food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
The 130,000-square-foot facility in Burlington is The Cultivated B’s first investment abroad.
Canada was appealing because of its supply of domestic and international talent, its open and welcoming immigration policies, its support for genomic engineering, and its political stability and free trade agreements, says CEO and co-founder Hamid Noori.
He credits the hard work of Canadian trade commissioners Albert Lee and Detlef Engler for making Canada’s case so convincing.
After a thorough location analysis, the company settled on Burlington, due to the high concentration of universities and colleges nearby, its proximity to the huge market in the United States, its high quality of life and strong regional transit.
“We looked all over the Greater Toronto Area and in other nearby municipalities. There is something special about Burlington,” says Noori.
The Cultivated B purchased the former L3 Harris building, the second- largest industrial building in Burlington, and is currently renovating it. There has been strong support for the project from city staff and local politicians, says Noori, including an executive response group at city hall and a dedicated con- cierge team through Burlington Economic Development.
“We have received the best treatment from the City that we could have hoped for. They have been incredibly helpful in every way. That has been so important to us. It can be very time consuming and expensive to expand to new countries. But the City of Burlington has been wonderful to us. I would recommend anyone to do business in Burlington,” says Noori.
“Burlington is a vibrant, friendly city that balances rural beauty and urban living with a small-town feel,” says Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.
“Companies choose to base their operations in Burlington because it’s where their employees want to be. We’re also close to Toronto and the U.S. border, and you’ll find 20 post-secondary institutions that are a one-hour drive from us. Our business community is strong, and The Cultivated B is a perfect example of the type of industry leaders you’ll find here. If you are considering relocating or expanding your business in Ontario, I would like to personally invite you to discover Burlington and everything we have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.”
Noori says the food industry is in the early stages of a transformation, due to shifting concerns about sustainability and animal welfare.
“We are working to try to shape that change, not react to it.”
The Cultivated B produces the bioreactors necessary to produce plant-based and cell-based alternative protein sources through the addition of sugar, amino acids and oxygen.
“There is a bottleneck in the production of these proteins that has to be addressed before we can scale up manufacturing. I make the analogy of this being like the Yukon gold rush. Everyone is out there trying to find the golden nugget. We are selling the shovels.”
Through it’s a complex and technical process, the Cultivated B’s proprietary bioreactors are simple to use, says Noori.
“Our philosophy is pioneering technology for all. We want to be landscape shapers.”
The company is collaborating with the government-funded non-profit Ontario Genomics to ramp up domestic cellular agriculture production. A 2021 study found that Canada could realize revenues of $12.5 billion per year and create up to 142,000 jobs.
The Burlington facility, expected to open sometime in the first quarter of 2023, will work with start-ups, small businesses and research organizations on proofs of concepts and scaling up production within a 20,000-square-foot innovation centre.
“To the best of my knowledge, we will have the world’s biggest open-access bio- reactor at 25,000 litres,” says Noori. “That will put Canada, Ontario and Burlington right at the forefront of cellular agriculture. Burlington will become one of the world’s hubs for this technology.”
The Burlington facility will also house PreFer Industries, a subsidiary of The Cultivated B., that focuses on precision fermentation. This technology will trans- form a low-value resource, like grains, into something of high value as an alternative protein.
The Cultivated B will employ 200 in Burlington once fully operational.
To learn more about Burlington, visit investburlington.ca. You can also contact the Burlington Economic Development team directly at +1 (905) 332-9415.
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