May 11, 2018


Protein Industries Canada Supercluster Update
On behalf of the Board and management at Protein Industries Canada, I want to thank each of you for your continued support and patience as we continue to push forward on three critical issues that have been, and will continue to be, our focus for May and June.

These are:

  1. Negotiating the Federal Funding agreement with the Federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED);
  2. beginning the process of developing the organizational structure and policy foundation for implementing your supercluster proposal; and
  3. raising the necessary funding to complete the development phase of the Protein Industries Canada supercluster.

Until the Funding Agreement has been completed, the Federal Government will not release program funds, nor do we have access to Federal funding for administrative purposes. Without Federal funding, we are entirely reliant on member funding to negotiate an agreement, communicate with our members, and develop the policy foundation for our cluster going forward.

Here’s an update:

  • In mid-April, we received a letter from ISED detailing roughly 20 areas where additional information or due diligence is required as a lead up to negotiating and finalizing the Federal Funding Agreement. We have been working to prepare responses to the various areas of inquiry. Our first response will be conveyed shortly and we anticipate that the second set of responses will be sent before the end of May. Submission of the information should result in a draft agreement being forwarded to us in early June, and the Federal Government is working with us to complete and sign an agreement the end of June or early July.
  • A formal meeting between the five Superclusters and ISED was held April 19th and 20th in Toronto. There was significant discussion on critical issues, such as intellectual property, membership frameworks, governance, and international engagement. This has helped move us forward with respect to the Funding Agreement.
  • The Protein Industries Canada Board also met in mid-April to deal with a series of governance policies and issues, including the process of adding three more members to our board. In addition, the board passed a resolution to target gender parity and our Governance Committee will soon start the process of building a list of potential candidates, after a skills assessment of the existing board members is completed.
  • The Board has approved holding a series of thematic workshops in June to discuss the key hurdles and challenges facing the protein industry, as well as consulting on the key policy issues or positions for the cluster during this formative period. The dates and locations for the meetings are as follows:
  • June 15th in Saskatoon | June 18th in Edmonton | June 19th in Winnipeg
  • All three events will run from 1:00-4:00 pm, followed by networking until 5:30 pm. The convenor has been selected and the meeting locations in each community are being finalized. Invitations are expected to be sent out by the end of May.
  • As I mentioned in our last update, until we complete the Federal Funding agreement, we remain dependent on our members for financial support, and to that end, we have been fundraising over the past month. It is important that we establish a financial base for our work over the next three months, and all contributions will eventually count on a three-to-one basis against the cost sharing ratio with the Federal Government. I want to thank those members that have responded positively to our requests.
  • The Board has approved a conference for all supporters and contributors, targeted for late September in Winnipeg, to bring together members of Protein Industries Canada to communicate the policies and processes that will be used for the program funding, and set out the future priorities for projects. Conference planning will begin shortly, and a date will be communicated in June or early July.
  • A decision has been made to start the process of hiring a CEO for Protein Industries Canada. The first step was taken this week when a request for expression of interest was sent to a group of executive search firms across Western Canada. Selection of a search firm to act on behalf of Protein Industries Canada should be completed in time for a search to begin in early to mid-June. The name of the chosen search firm will be released in our next update so interested individuals can be directed to the firm. We are hoping to have a permanent CEO in place by September 1st.
  • Hiring a management team for Protein Industries Canada will not start until the Funding Agreement has been signed and the permanent CEO is in place.
  • We are pleased to advise that we have now leased office space for Protein Industries Canada at Innovation Place, a research park located at the University of Regina. Protein Industries Canada offices are at #150K – 2 Research Drive, Regina, SK, and starting on Monday, May 14th, the main phone number for Protein Industries Canada will be (306) 949-0049. The hours at this location will be irregular for the next two weeks, but we are arranging for an individual to help us establish a regular presence in the office on a half-day basis by early June.

We will continue to issue updates by email as developments occur.
If you have questions, please feel free to email me at protein@sasktel.net.

Ron Styles
Acting President
Protein Industries Canada