Canadian group to get $950 million in federal funding

by Eric Schroeder
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Investment will be used to seize opportunity in plant-based protein.
Photo courtesy of Protein Industries Canada
OTTAWA, CANADA — Protein Industries Canada, an industry-led alliance of more than 120 private sector companies, academic institutions and other stakeholders across Canada focused on developing the potential of plant-based proteins from crops such as canola pulses, grains, hemp and flax, has been named one of the winning supercluster proponents under the federal Innovation Superclusters Program.

As a winning supercluster, Protein Industries Canada will share in a $950 million investment with four other regional finalists under Canada’s federal program.

“I want to thank the federal government for their vision in investing in this project and particularly Ministers Goodale, Nohi, and Carr for their work in securing the investment,” said Frank Hart, chairman of Protein Industries Canada. “This is an exciting opportunity for agricultural across the Prairies and food processors across Canada.”

Hart said plant-based protein is about a $13 billion market, with Canada holding only a small share.

“We need to seize this opportunity before our competitors do,” he said.

Protein Industries Canada said the federal government’s investment will be used to supplement roughly $400 million of cash, in-kind commitments and venture capital support that the organization already has secured from its members. The initiative is expected to generate more than $700 million in new commercial activity and billions in incremental gross domestic product over the next decade, the group said.

“This has huge implications for the western Canadian economy,” Hart said. “Farmers, service companies, value added processors, academic institutions, consumers and through spin-off benefits, everyone on the prairies and throughout Canada will stand to benefit.”

Protein Industries Canada’s strategy is built on four pillars:

• Improving seed protein quality and yield

• Improving sustainable production and agricultural information technology

• Fostering innovation in processing technology to create new protein products

• Providing support for companies, marketing, commercialization and trade.

The organization’s members include Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill, Dow AgroSciences Canada, DuPont Pioneer Canada, Louis Dreyfus Company Canada, Richardson International Ltd., and many others.