Only together we can shape the future of food.”
– Foodvalley NL

An AgTech Industry Cluster

The Center for Food Innovation (CFI) was launched to catapult the region into a leading food production and innovation economy through the development and growth of an AgTech Industry Cluster. The CFI AgTech Industry Cluster approach is modeled after the Netherlands’ Food Valley program and its support organization FoodValley nonprofit which facilitates a cooperative system approach between the private sector, government, and universities that has transformed the Netherlands into a global leader in biotechnology and year-round food production. 

What if Northeast Ohio (NEO) became a globally-recognized center of food innovation and sustainable food production?

Currently northeast Ohio produces between 2-5% of its over $15B of food consumed. Research shows that if NEO were to produce 25% of regional food demand, we would create over 27,000 new jobs, generate $4.2B in annual regional output, and produce up to $126M in annual state and local taxes. By adopting a stakeholder-led “whole system” approach to scaling-up our local food economy, our Northeast Ohio region can generate investments in local food infrastructure, strategic partnerships, skilled workforce development, energy and water efficiency, and other key areas of high regional potential. This type of collaboration would enable the emergence of a robust local food ecosystem filled with opportunity at every stage of the value chain.

The end result will be a 25% shift toward locally produced food within a five-year period.

The vision for the Center for Food Innovation is to be a catalyst for an innovative cluster of growers, technology, systems, and distribution channels that transforms Northeast Ohio into a leader in food production and agricultural innovation. Its mission is to cultivate a collaborative and inclusive industry cluster of producers, consumers, educators, distributors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to grow regional jobs and prosperity in the region.

The strategy is to increase food production which will drive innovation and secondary business growth in areas such as food manufacturing, shipping, warehousing and processing. Controlled-environment agriculture and vertical farm growth along with greenhouse and other year-round growth technologies, together with these secondary industries, will provide new jobs in a range of job-skill employment.

Ready to learn more?

Find out what it will take to reach the 25% shift and
what it means for you and your community.