May 30, 2018


Protein Industries Canada Supercluster Update

In this month-end Protein Industries Canada update, I would like to let you know about the work that continues in three focused areas:

1) Negotiating the Federal Funding Agreement with the Federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).

  • On May 15, we submitted responses to about half of the information requests from ISED. We expect to submit responses to the remaining requests within the next two weeks.
  • On May 24th, we had our first meeting with ISED concerning the initial package of responses. Only a few issues remain that will need additional information to resolve further questions.
  • A couple of larger issues remain, but we are hopeful that by early to mid-June the discussions will be at a point where the Agreement can be considered by Federal Authorities for signing over the summer.
  • As noted in my last update, until the Federal Funding Agreement has been completed, the Federal Government will not release program funds, nor will they release funds for administrative purposes.

2) Developing the organizational structure and policy foundation for implementing your supercluster proposal.

  • The Board Governance Committee is just in the process of finalizing a firm to conduct the CEO Search and the winning firm will be advised in early June. We are still working towards having a permanent CEO in place either August 1st or September 1st.

Thematic workshops are scheduled:

  • June 15th at Innovation Place in Saskatoon
  • June 18th at the Airport Renaissance Hotel in Edmonton
  • June 19th at the Fairmont in Winnipeg

We are pleased to announce that the convenor for the three workshops will be Kim McConnell, a respected industry leader from Alberta. Attendance is by invitation only, and invitations are in the process of being emailed. If you have any questions regarding logistics or attendance, please contact Rhonda Laing at (306) 975-5944.

  • The Protein Industries Canada Board has approved a conference, scheduled for October 3-4, 2018 in Winnipeg, MB. This event will be the official kickoff for our Protein Supercluster. The conference goal is to inform our members, supporters and contributors regarding the policies and processes that will be used for Protein Industries Canada program funding, and set out the future priorities for Protein Industries Canada projects. Please be sure to save this date on your calendars, and watch for an agenda and registration information to come!
  • The Board has also been building its skills matrix, working to identify what skills are missing before beginning the process of selecting three additional board members to complete the interim board. The final three board members will all be female in order to achieve the 50/50 gender target set by the Federal Government. The selection process will start before the end of June with appointments by late summer.

3) Raising the necessary funding to complete the development phase of our supercluster.

On behalf of the Board and Management, I want to thank some of our recent contributors for their support:

  • AGT Food and Ingredients
  • Alberta Canola Producers Commission
  • Corteva Agriscience (formerly Dow AgroSciences)
  • Enns Brothers Ltd.
  • ISM Canada
  • Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers

New administrative office:
As noted in the last update, Protein Industries Canada has set up its initial headquarters:
#150K – 2 Research Drive
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 7H9
Tel: (306) 949-0049
The office hours at this location will be from 7:30 to 11:30 am Monday through Thursday.

I am also pleased to advise that Rhonda Ekstrom has joined Protein Industries Canada to oversee the office and help coordinate Protein Industries Canada activities. The present email address, protein@sasktel.net, will be transferred over to Rhonda effective June 5th. Please note that from June 1st through to June 5th, the account will not be operational while it is being transferred from a residential account setting to a commercial account setting.

On a personal note, my last day with Protein Industries Canada is May 31st. It has been a great experience being part of this initiative and I wish everyone the very best in making the cluster proposal operational and then driving the economic growth and jobs that are at the heart of the cluster’s purpose.

Beginning June 1st, general inquiries can simply be directed to the office number and Rhonda Ekstrom. The president’s responsibilities will be assumed on an interim basis by Protein Industries Canada Board Chair Frank Hart. He can be reached through his email address: Frank.Hart@greystone.ca

Ron Styles
Acting President
Protein Industries Canada