Industry Highlights

Photo of apples display
Apples are a big business in Durham and local companies have become the leaders in driving the adoption of innovative solutions and technology in this field.

From an extensive research and development project to increase processing efficiency through an innovative closed-loop water recycling system, to developing the first of its kind in Ontario press on wheels with top-of-the-line technology and computerized pressing equipment that can process 500 litres of cider an hour, Durham companies are leading the way.

Photo of Spinach
Spinach is a massive market in Canada and is a very difficult crop to grow. Thanks to ingenuity, vision and determination, North America’s only hydroponic spinach producer – Durham Foods – calls Durham Region home. After extensive R&D process, the spinach in now distributed to more than 50 area grocery stores. This first of its kind innovative system has won the 2012 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
Photo of Various Spices
Hela Spice Canada specializes in the design and formulation of custom blends for the meat, poultry, bakery and other sectors of the food industry.

The company has an on-site, up-to-date meat pilot plant, a food chemistry laboratory, a microbiology laboratory and blending facilities to compliment the nature of the company’s service in the industry. It assists all customers through courses offered in meat technology, food ingredients, food chemistry and microbiology of spices.

featured Agritech employers

Durham Foods Logo


Durham Foods is a family-run greenhouse in Port Perry, Ontario. They have developed an innovative system to become the only commercial growers of hydroponic spinach in North America. Their spinach is grown in a pesticide and herbicide-free environment. Durham foods products are sold at various grocers and markets across Ontario. Visit Website
Durham College Logo


The Centre for Food, located in Durham Region is a higher education experiential learning environment focused on the field-to-fork concept. Students become experts in all stages of agriculture and culinary including planting, growing, harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and food creation services. Visit Website
Algoma Orchards Logo


Algoma Orchards has been growing apples in Durham Region since 1964. Their apple growing business has grown and expanded since then, now becoming a state-of-the-art apple packing facility shipping to grocery stores across Canada. Algoma also create a new state of the art automated farm fresh juice and apple cider facility. Visit Website

Agritech News

Zambah Partners With Mau5trap

Spark Centre client and Oshawa based startup, Zambah is pleased to announce a new partnership with deadmau5 founded record label, mau5trap. The two companies are collaborating on a series of playlists that will bring attention to new and emerging music. mau5trap will be utilizing Zambah’s streamlined submission process that allows undiscovered or independent artists from anywhere in the world to directly submit music to influential people and brands through their ‘Tastemakers’ feature. For the next few months, mau5trap will use this feature to accept song submissions for multiple playlists they will create on the platform. All songs submitted will be considered for these playlists and artists must visit to apply. “We’re really excited to be working with mau5trap on this initiative to bring more awareness to new and emerging artists that need more shine on their work. We can’t wait to share their finished playlist with music fans all over the world.” – Ken Asafo, co-founder of Zambah Industry influencers including araabMUZIK, Arius, UZ, Lucky Date, Breathe Carolina and many more have participated in this new initiative to feature emerging music on more playlists. Artists looking to submit tracks to mau5trap must have a “Pro” subscription to be eligible to submit. For more information about Zambah’s “Pro” subscription priced at $7/month, please visit: About Zambah: Zambah is a social music discovery and streaming platform. The platform focuses on the discovery and curation of emerging audio content by delivering great tools that help artists gain new listeners and fans. Zambah also offers artists the opportunity to spread their music to a desired audience by allowing them to submit music...

Spark Innovation Centre Announces New President & CEO

Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce the appointment of Sherry Colbourne as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 3, 2017. Sherry is a Canadian entrepreneur who has recently returned to Ontario from a four-year entrepreneurial sabbatical in the Middle East. During her time there she co-founded Startup Oman, which has become the hub of Oman’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused specifically on high-impact entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Startup Oman, Sherry was co-founder and CEO of Ladybug Teknologies, a social technology company that developed innovative breath-screening solutions. Sherry’s energy and love of technology was seeded early in her 25-year career in the Canadian high tech sector where she worked for some of Canada’s leading technology innovators including Leigh Instruments, Com Dev, Diemaco, DspFactory and Certicom. “We are very pleased to be welcoming Sherry to the Spark Centre team,” said Kathy Weiss, Chair of Spark Innovation Centre Board of Directors. “We know her experience and passion for entrepreneurship and innovation as well as managing community networks and relationships at all levels will be of tremendous value to Spark Centre.” “I am delighted to be joining Spark Centre and to become part of the continued progress it is making throughout Durham Region in fostering entrepreneurial innovation,” said Sherry Colbourne. About Spark Innovation Centre: Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. For more information on Spark Centre, please visit...

Dash MD & Hexyoo Scientific Announced As Winners Of Ignite 2016!

Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce Dash MD as the Young Entrepreneur winner and Hexyoo Scientific as the General Entrepreneur winner of the 2016 Ignite Competition. Both companies have taken the top prize of $25,000 each. Dash MD are the creators of a mobile app that helps patients track, manage, and find the care they need once they’ve left the hospital. Their goal is to provide patients with the tools and resources they need to successfully traverse their road to recovery. Hexyoo Scientific are the creators of a proprietary gel based pressure ulcer pad for use in a hospital setting. The gel pad, placed over a mattress has embedded sensors to help healthcare providers with the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers. “We’re so grateful for this opportunity that has been given to us by Durham Region generally and by Spark Centre specifically,” said Zack Fisch, CEO of Dash MD. “These funds and the support that comes with them will be put towards helping patients across Ontario, and beyond.” “The team is honoured and excited to receive this award”, said Bob Macmillan, President of Hexyoo Scientific Inc. “Hexyoo’s vision and venture has been validated by the recognition of the Ignite 2016 process and the support received by Sparks Centre staff. We are committed to this venture, the product, and look forward to the next chapter in our journey.”          Along with the $25,000 prize, these two companies will be given free office space in Spark Centre’s head office The Loft, located in Oshawa, and will also join Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program which offers significant advisory and business support services...