Food Innovation Research Studio (FIRSt)

George Brown College

FIRSt helps food and beverage businesses in Ontario grow profitably through product innovation. FIRSt accelerates new food and beverage ideas “from concept to commercialization”, by offering industry access to strategic and technical resources, state of the art culinary research facilities, and high-value networking opportunities.

Food product development

Areas of Innovation Expertise

  • Concept to Commercialization Product Development
  • Prototype Validation and Optimization
  • Process Optimization and Quality Systems Design
  • Culinary and Technical Training
  • Market analysis & business plan development
  • Regulatory & labelling

  Point of Contact:

Name: Michelle Kienitz, Manager, Industry Liaison and Business Development

 Phone: +1-416-415-5000×5575



 Address: 215 King St. East, 4th, Toronto, ON M5A 1J9

 Services offered in: English and French

 Request Interactive Visit:



Mailing address:

Food Innovation Research Studio (FIRSt) George Brown College Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts : Applied Research 215 King St. E., Room 416, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1J9   Technical and Business Services Assistance with building products approvals and commercialization Business development & market research services Business Mentorship referrals Competitive assessments Competitive market analysis Design Services Digital Media & Web Solutions Early-Stage Business Development Literature reviews Marketing Advisory Services referrals Proof of concept Regulatory guidance Retail product label & packaging review Technology evaluation / validation Commercialization referrals Consumer focus groups Ingredient selection and recommendations Product styling & photography Concept ideation & design review Market analysis Project management Problem solving Product testing Sample analysis & testing Testing Services   Applied Research and Development Concept validation Laboratory/pilot scale prototyping Pre-clinical development (chemistry & analytical biochemistry, metabolomics, pharmaceutical science, cell biology & microbiology) Product Re-design & Improvement Regulatory guidance Product Design & Development Sensory research facilities Report preparation on R&D results Provincial and federal grant proposal development   Training Corporate on-site & in-house training Interactive Workshop Sessions Design, development, and delivery of customized training Needs assessment and gap analysis Train the trainer Connections to co-op placement opportunities Qualitative & quantitative research Curriculum development Training planning   Technology Diffusion Rental of space & equipment Networking events Presentation of results at conferences Seminars and Workshops Industry-specific events & symposia Evening speaker series Field site product demonstration Participation at trade shows & other venues with or on behalf of partners   Inventory of Specialized Equipment

  • A 4000 square foot facility with a large kitchen that can accommodate up to three clients simultaneously with: a private kitchen for proprietary research, a state of the art sensory testing area, and a prototyping area.
  • Beverage carbonators
  • Food emulsifier/ Robot Coupe mixer
  • Accelerated shelf life oven with Ro-tap sieve shaker
  • Dehydrator
  • Viscometer
  • Water activity meter
  • Vacuum sealer
  • Compusense Cloud sensory evaluation software
  • ESHA Genesis nutritional database software
  • Mintel / GNPD database
  • Colourimeter
  • Digital buret
  • Pacojet
  • Bostwick consistometers
  • Food portioning scales
  • Refractometers
  • Precision scales (analytical, lab, factory sizes)
  • 6 burner foodservice stove / oven
  • Table top Convection oven
  • Hobart mixer
  • Moisture meter
  • Packaging sealer
  • 1 metal detector