The Circular Food Economy Innovation Hub (CFE iHub) connects you to business support organizations and circular businesses in the food and environmental sectors across southern Ontario.
Guelph-Wellington is working to build a regional Circular Food Economy (CFE), reimagining an inclusive food-secure ecosystem that:
- increases access to affordable, nutritious food by 50%, where “waste” becomes a resource,
- creates 50 new circular businesses and collaborations, and
- increases circular economic value by 50 per cent.
A key component of this living lab is the CFE iHub at Innovation Guelph.
The CFE iHub supports the creation of new businesses and collaborations that contribute to a circular economy through the development of circular solutions. Led by Innovation Guelph, it links multiple business support organizations in Guelph-Wellington, creating a “no wrong door” model to ensure easy access across the region. These organizations, known as the front doors, include:
Two dedicated CFE iHub connectors have been engaged to build and strengthen connections and share information among the front doors, across the broader network of Our Food Future collaborators and into the community.
The CFE iHub contributes to the development of a sustainable regional ecosystem by facilitating collaborations between businesses and by fostering circular economy principles. It engages with stakeholders across the rural-urban ecosystem to support the discovery, assessment and analysis of problems in the current food and environment systems. It especially addresses the its relationship to waste, inefficiency, and information gaps. In working towards a Circular Economy in collaboration with the COIL initiative, the CFE iHub team facilitates problem-surfacing and solution-generating activities and offers services like the CFE Digital Passport, and Circular Food southern Ontario.
What is a Circular Food Economy?
Inspired by the planet’s natural cycles, a circular food economy reimagines and regenerates the systems that feed us, eliminating waste, sharing economic prosperity, and nourishing our communities.
What is a Circular Food Business?
A for-profit, not-for-profit, or social enterprise that contributes to or creates solutions within the circular food economy through the development of new business models, technologies, products or services that design waste out of our food system, reduce emissions, expand access to affordable and nutritious food, and regenerate natural systems.
What is a Circular Food Collaboration?
symbiotic interaction between two or more individuals, businesses, and organizations that contributes to the circular food economy through a new business model, technology, product, or service.
The aim of the CFE iHub is to foster and help co-ordinate innovation in the food and environment sectors to enhance sustainability and activates circular, regenerative practices. Together with Guelph-Wellington’s Our Food Future and COIL initiatives, the CFE iHub has cultivated a rural-urban living lab where entrepreneurs, researchers, social innovators and community members generate and implement novel solutions to complex challenges within the food and environment sectors.
This approach enables CFE iHub partners to leverage existing partnerships, resources, and programs, while facilitating collaboration and communication across many interconnected projects and opportunities. The CFE iHub works alongside the Smart Cities Office, the front doors, and supporting project partners to further connections. The CFE iHub has one county connector and one city connector who help navigate the projects and identify opportunities for businesses. The connectors continuously establish the appropriate connections based on which sector is of interest to the business.