The power of protein – western Canadian company awarded funding

The power of protein – western Canadian company awarded funding
Feb 16, 2018

Protein Industries Canada was one of the winning applicants in federal program

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer

Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is a recipient of government funding under the federal Innovation Superclusters Program.

The organization was awarded a share of the $950 million total allotment for superclusters, according to a PIC release yesterday.

PIC is an industry-led partnership of more than 120 western Canadian private-sector companies, academic institutions and stakeholders with the goal to fully uncover the potential of plant-based proteins, the release said.

The supercluster will mostly work with pulses, grains, hemp and flax with a focus on enhancing crop breeding, crop production, value-added processing and export development.

“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,” Frank Hart, board chair of PIC, said in the release.

“This is an exciting opportunity for agriculture across the Prairies and food processors across Canada.”    

The world population is projected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, increasing the demand for protein. People see crop proteins as a healthy protein source, contributing to an estimated 59 to 89 per cent increase in need of this protein by 2050, according to the release.  

“Plant based protein is a $13 billion market of which Canada currently has a minimal share. We need to seize this opportunity before our competitors do,” Hart said in the release.

 “This (initiative) has huge implications for the western Canadian economy,” Hart added.

“Farmers, service companies, value-added processors, academic institutions, consumers and, through spinoff benefits, everyone on the Prairies and throughout Canada will stand to benefit.”

In total, an independent study estimates the Innovation Superclusters Program will contribute more than $700 million in new commercial activity and supply nearly 4,700 new jobs over the next 10 years, the release said.

Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, made the announcement at a ceremony in Ottawa yesterday.


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