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Together, let’s reinvent dairy! More than 60 participants in Inno Challenge; three teams advance to the second round


Montreal, February 8, 2017

Agropur Cooperative, in partnership with the Quartier de l’innovation de Montréal, AG-Bio Centre and NineSigma, announced today that three submissions have been selected in the first round of the “Together, let’s reinvent dairy!” Inno Challenge. The selected participants are Marc Purcell and Nathalie Miller of Quebec, serial entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about teaming up with a major Canadian cooperative to bring their latest creation to grocery store shelves; Martin Macouzet, Ph.D., an inventor who has been refining a dairy product concept for years; and the Institut de technologie des emballages et du génie alimentaire (ITEGA), which joined forces with the leading communications agency LG2 to develop a project that bridges research, consumer wants and the dairy industry’s needs.

The three selected respondents were chosen after thorough examination of the files by the Inno Challenge jury. In all, 63 respondents from 8 countries submitted cutting-edge ideas. “We were very excited about the number, the diversity and especially the quality of the submissions,” said Robert Coallier, CEO of Agropur. “We congratulate the selected participants and thank all the respondents to our first Inno Challenge. We believe there is incredible potential to reinvent dairy products. We are very eager to work with these creative thinkers to co-develop revolutionary products through open innovation.”

Prototyping the future of dairy

Over the next 16 weeks, the selected respondents will work with Agropur’s experts on a weekly basis to co-develop the selected concepts and bring them to the prototype stage. Throughout the process, they will have access to Agropur’s innovation know-how and facilities, work space at the Quartier de l’innovation, and AG-Bio Centre’s business development consulting services. On May 31 and June 1, 2017, they will face the ultimate presentation and taste test when the prototypes are finally unveiled at Agropur Inno Expo.

The Inno Challenge call went out to creators in Quebec, Canada and the entire world in October 2016. Participants had seven weeks to come up with proposals for innovative dairy solutions. The concepts were carefully evaluated by a panel of judges from Agropur and the other partners on the basis of clearly defined criteria. Among other things, the proposed products had to offer consumers a new way to experience dairy and have a fast time to market. The coming weeks will be devoted to prototyping the selected ideas and those that pass the second stage will be tested at Inno Expo. Get ready: the dairy products of the future are coming!

Agropur Inno Challenge: A Canadian agri-food first

Agropur’s “Together, Let’s Reinvent Dairy” Inno Challenge seeks to identify impactful new innovations that expand, sustain and reinvigorate the use of dairy products and elevate dairy beyond a household staple. The selected projects will each receive a cash award of up to $25,000. In light of the first edition’s success, Inno Challenge will be an annual event. Full details are available at

About Agropur

Agropur Cooperative is a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938. With sales of $5.9 billion in 2015, the Cooperative is a source of pride to its 3,367 members and 8,000 employees. Agropur processes more than 5.7 billion litres of milk per year at its 39 plants across North America and boasts an impressive roster of brands and products including Natrel, Québon, OKA, Farmers, Agropur Signature, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Island Farms, BiPro, and the Ultima Foods joint venture’s iögo and Olympic brands.

About Quartier de l’Innovation (QI )

The Quartier de l’innovation (QI) is an innovation ecosystem in the heart of Montreal that aims to boost the city’s potential for creativity. QI was launched in May 2013 by École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and McGill University, which were subsequently joined by Concordia University and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Some 20 corporate partners have since come on board. QI draws on the complementary resources of its numerous partners in research, training, innovation and entrepreneurship to create concrete projects that are changing the face of the city. The site is bounded by René Lévesque Boulevard on the north, the Lachine Canal on the south, McGill Street on the east and Atwater Avenue on the west. QI’s activities focus on four areas: training and research, social and cultural innovation, industrial innovation and urban innovation.


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Véronique Boileau

Vice President, Communications

Agropur Cooperative