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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, postdoctoral and graduate students.

A group of people sits around a table discusses data in agriculture

Food from Thought Innovation Grants

Food from Thought grants will enable researchers who are working on projects that align with this goal by providing funding and learning experiences to propel their discoveries forward. These grants will also benefit the entire agri-food industry by supporting the development of open, shared platforms and tools.

Learn more about Food from Though Innovation Grants

Skills for Research Impact Workshops

This monthly workshop series is 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. One hundred thirteen 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, postdoctoral fellows, 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 Redevelopment

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.

Easel with paper, post-it notes and markers

Data Management Plan Training

Food from Thought has supported the development of workshops that provide an overview of data management plans (DMP) and discuss strategies and resources for completing a DMP. These workshops assist researchers with the development of a DMP that considers the many aspects of data management, metadata generation, data preservation, and analysis to ensure that data are well-managed and preserved for the future. This workshop has been offered 27 times, with 315 participants to date. The workshops were developed and delivered collaboratively by the University of Guelph Library with the Ontario Agri-food Innovation Alliance and the Food from Thought Data Strategy team.

Learn more about the Data Management Plan Training

New Digital Agriculture Revolution Course

 As agriculture moves into the digital age, new technologies are revolutionizing the way our food is produced. This course explores these technologies while using a critical lens to understand how they will impact the environment and food security. Students develop an understanding of how these technologies work by participating in a series of hands-on seminars, followed by discussion and engagement with the broader agricultural community. Digital assignments include a class blog, social media projects, and creative development of a new digital tool. Seventeen first-year students participated in the first-year seminar, developed and led by Food from Thought HQP scholar Emily Duncan.

Advantage Workshops

Offered to researchers, postdoctoral, and graduate students, the Advantage Workshops are intended to give research teams the tools they need to maximize the impact of their research and to produce innovative products and tools. The workshops expose research teams to new skills that can help them envision and communicate solutions and develop fruitful, long-term relationships with industry. Workshop topics include: Intellectual Property Essentials, Innovation Toolkit, Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Strategy Toolkit, Advanced Collaboration Techniques, and Creating Persuasive Value Propositions. There have been 21 workshops with participation ranging from 17 to 60 individuals.

Learn more about the Advantage Workshops

Knowledge Mobilization & Transfer

Making research accessible and translating findings into a format understood by audiences from a range of sectors is critical for research impact. Food from Thought creates opportunities for knowledge mobilization and transfer through unique and engaging activities and supports collaborations between the University of Guelph researchers and non-academic audiences such as companies and community-based organizations.

Outreach Events

Food from Thought regularly hosts outreach events, including the Guelph Talks food series and our Annual Meeting and Agri-Food Excellence Symposium. These events allow senior representatives from agri-food organizations and companies from across Canada and internationally to learn about breakthrough scientific research from University of Guelph researchers.  

Knowledge Translation and Transfer Community of Practice

Food from Thought is part of the Guelph Knowledge Translation and Transfer Community of Practice (KTTCoP), a network of knowledge mobilization professionals, faculty, and students seeking to share best practices, develop new skills, and connect with peers. These workshops aim to bridge the gap between best available KTT evidence and practice by focusing on the sharing of resources and ideas to create a strong community and advance research in KTT. Workshop topics have included Hackathons, Tools for Research Communications, KTT Best Practices, Social Network Analysis, and Open Educational Practices.

Learn more about the Guelph KTT Community