The Prairies-based Protein Industries Supercluster, one of five members of the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative has announced its first project.
“This project is going to help foster…innovative processing technologies that will increase the value of key Canadian crops.”
This makes Protein just the second supercluster of the group to reveal projects since the government announced the winning cluster proposals almost a year and a half ago. In March, the BC-based Digital Technology Supercluster became the first to reveal its projects, announcing seven in total with the goal of improving service, delivery, and efficiency in natural resources, precision health, and industrial sectors.
The Protein Supercluster announced in Calgary on Wednesday just the first of its projects, which is designed to “focus on advancements in technologies to improve oil and protein ingredient values in canola and hemp.”
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development made the announcement at Botaneco, a Calgary-based innovative, oilseed ingredient manufacturer that will be partnering with Corteva Canada and Rowland Farms to develop the project. The group will look to develop processing technology for canola and hemp crops to produce new, higher value oil and protein products.
“As Canada positions itself to meet global demand for plant-based proteins, this project is going to help foster new and innovative processing technologies that will increase the value of key Canadian crops popular in foreign markets,” Bains stated. “The Protein Supercluster is just getting started transforming the industry and creating good jobs for Canadians for years to come.”
The Prairie supercluster received nearly $153 million from the federal government last year, meant to be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector. The ministry of innovation, science and economic development Canada stated that it invested up to $4 million in this first project, which is set to be the largest of Protein’s overall projects (yet to be announced). With that $4 million the supercluster also added an additional $4 million in contributions from industry and “other” partners. The Protein supercluster is expected to create more than 4,500 jobs and add more than $4.5 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years.
It is expected that the government will announcements additional supercluster updates later this week.