GUELPH, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Long-time Bioenterprise Canada CEO Dave Smardon has been named as the recipient of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from Life Sciences Ontario. Smardon was honoured at the LSO’s annual Celebration of Success event on May 17.
Under Smardon’s leadership, Bioenterprise Canada has been navigating the shifting Canadian landscape of food and agricultural technologies for over 20 years and bringing deep impact locally and internationally by supporting high-growth scaling innovations. This includes supporting more than 2,500 innovative agri-tech companies, helping launch more than 2,000 technologies and generating over half a billion dollars in economic value over the last two decades.
“Dave is a collaborator, a positive thinker and a creative leader who has worked hard to bring his vision of a national approach to agri-tech innovation to life,” says Colin Farnum, Chair of the Bioenterprise Canada board of directors. “He’s very adept at connecting the dots and he’s known for the passion and dedication he brings to his work. This award is a reflection of his decades of effort on behalf of the life science community and truly a testament to the commitment he has put into this space.”
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Smardon’s background includes early years with Apple Computer Inc. and Texas Instruments, his own entrepreneurial pursuits of two successful start-ups and being an angel investor. He remains a strong advocate for the creation and growth of Canada’s venture capital community and acts as an advisor for government, family offices, and investment companies.
In 2004, Smardon joined Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, as its President and CEO one year after the organization was founded to commercialize agriculture and food research from the University of Guelph.
Although he had little knowledge of the agriculture sector at the time, he learned quickly and his strong background in finance, investment and working with companies helped put Bioenterprise on the map, first in Ontario and then nation-wide.
In 2020, Bioenterprise re-branded as Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine and has since built a national network of more than 350 members, partners and sponsors that make Smardon’s vision of a united innovation ecosystem for the Canadian agri-food sector a reality.
“I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has played a role in the ongoing evolution of Bioenterprise and our drive to support innovation and entrepreneurs in the Canadian food and agri-tech sector,” says Smardon. “This year marks Bioenterprise’s 20th anniversary and I’m both proud of what this organization has achieved and excited at the possibilities yet to come for this industry.”
About Bioenterprise Canada
Bioenterprise is Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, a national agri-technology focused commercialization accelerator. Bioenterprise uses its 20 years of industry experience and a global network of experts, mentors, funders, researchers, and industry partners to help small and medium-sized agri-food businesses connect, innovate and grow.