Project selection

Novalait selects its projects through a two-step process:

1. Relevance assessment

2. Scientific assessment

The relevance is assessed by entrepreneurs and dairy producers and processors based on business opportunity criteria:

  • The importance of the issues addressed ;
  • The potential for economic, environmental and social benefits for diary farms and plants.

Projects’ scientific quality is assessed by expert committees that measure the innovative aspect of the approach, the rigour of the scientific process, the expertise of the research team and the realism of the timeline and proposed budget.

Business model

Novalait combines all of businesses that produce or process milk in Quebec; from small-scale cheese factories to family farms to multinational compagnies. They are represented within Novalait by three groups of shareholders. Les Producteurs de lait du Québec holds 50% of Novalait's shares. Agropur cooperative, which represents dairy cooperatives, and the Conseil des industriels laitiers du Québec, which brings together private dairy processors, split the other half of Novalait's shares.

Through Novalait, Quebec’s dairy farmers and processors share the costs and risks of research. They make annual contributions to the research investment fund equivalent to ¢1.27/100 l of managed milk, which totalled over $700,000 in 2015.

Thanks to its private and government partners, Novalait generates leverage worth more than four times its shareholders’ investments. This unique business model allows dairy companies to pay for research projects they would be unable to fund on their own. Shareholders also benefit from recognized expertise:

  • Novalait sets research priorities with its shareholders;

  • Novalait selects projects based on their potential benefits for the farm and plant;

  • Novalait takes care of the knowledge transfer and communicates the applications of results.


Novalait is a small organization. To carry out its mission, it relies on support from a large network of partners.

Novalait is a private company that bears 100% of its operating costs. Carrying out research projects requires financing packages. Financial partners step in to complete Novalait’s research investments.

Novalait relies on the creativity of academic, government and college researchers to develop and carry out research projects according to the priorities set by dairy producers and processors.

To communicate the results of its research, Novalait has built close ties with organizations that inform, advise and train dairy producers and processors.