George Brown chirping after being named #1 research college in Canada

Food innovation and research studio developed energy bar with crickets as ingredients

George Brown College (GBC) has been ranked the top research college in Canada by Research InfoSource, followed by Fanshawe and Lambton College. 

GBC’s premier research facility is the food innovation and research studio (FIRSt).

The research labs include design, sustainability, health, food, and business facilities. 

“Over the last seven months, since April 1, FIRSt has worked with 58 companies and hired 50 students,” said Dawn Davidson, associate vice president of research and innovation at GBC.

One company that students FIRSt worked with was Entotritious Inc. to create “Jump bars,” an energy bar with the ingredient of protein-packed crickets.

“Crickets are a fantastic source of protein,” said Davidson. “They’re eaten in other places of the world but not so much in Canada. So they’re high in protein and vitamin B12. “

The bars come in three flavours: chilli chocolate, apple pie, and lemon coconut. 

Student learning experience, economic development, Canadian company development, and the creation of lasting relationships between the industry and students are what drives GBC’s applied research facility, said Davidson.

With strong affiliations to the food and beverage industry, FIRSt also works with not-for-profit organizations—such as Sick Kids Hospital, where they developed ketogenic recipes for epileptic patients and their families.

The research and innovation webpage for students boldly states, “No experience necessary.” 

“Contact your faculty members, let them know that you’re interested in research, and then contact the research office,” said Davidson.


George Brown chirping after being named #1 research college in Canada