Protein Industries Canada, one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters, and Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, has announced a new bilateral partnership to develop greater connections between the food sectors in both countries.
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the UK Minister of Science George Freeman met in Ottawa last week to agree on deeper collaboration on science and innovation between the two countries.
“Our government is proud to announce the strategic partnership between Protein Industries Canada and Innovate UK to propel innovation in the plant-based food and ingredients sector. This collaboration represents a pivotal step toward not only building a sustainable future but also enhancing environmental and human health and boosting economies. These visionary organizations are poised to transform the landscape of the plant-based food industry, pioneering a new era of global partnerships,” The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said.
The partnership will see the countries work together to support innovation in plant-based food and ingredients. Canada’s substantial production of plant-based ingredients offers great benefit to UK-based food companies looking to develop healthy and sustainable foods.
“We are excited to work with Innovate UK to create new partnerships and further advance innovation in plant-based food, feed, ingredients and co-products,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “As Canada develops our national ecosystem, we are eager to work with like-minded countries who share our commitment to growing the plant-based food sector. Doing so will help our countries improve environmental and human health, while also supporting economies of the future by creating jobs and increasing investment.”
Protein Industries Canada and Innovate UK will make introductions between Canadian and UK companies to create mutually beneficial partnerships to help develop new plant-based food and ingredients. By leveraging each country’s respective strengths, companies on both sides will benefit through access to new technologies and research, access to new customers, and, ultimately, the growth of their companies.
“Our vision is to enable people to live longer, healthier lives and we can achieve this by transforming our food system into one that is more productive, sustainable and resilient,” Executive Director, Healthy Living and Agriculture Domain at Innovate UK, Dr. Katrina Hayter said. “Having the opportunity to learn and collaborate with counterparts in Canada is vital for ensuring that technology, practices and sustainability benefits continue to develop, and this partnership represents a landmark moment in bringing the expertise of both nations together in the plant-based foods space. We look forward to supporting new connections and collaborations as the partnership develops, to drive the development and adoption of new technologies across the sector, and enabling the transition to net zero food systems.”
The partnership kicked off with a webinar on June 7 that introduced UK and Canadian companies to the opportunities and benefit of creating cross-country partnerships. In fall 2023, a delegation of UK businesses, led by Innovate UK, will attend Protein Industries Canada’s Conference and AGM in September, where a matchmaking event will be hosted. In return, a delegation of Canadian companies led by Protein Industries Canada will return to the United Kingdom later in September.
The United Kingdom is a natural partner for Canadian companies. Building off Canada’s natural advantage as a grower of sustainable high-protein crops and the processor of high-protein plant-based ingredients, Canada can help supply UK food companies with the ingredients they need to create sustainable and healthy plant-based foods. In return, Canadian companies will gain access to new research, markets and customers.
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