I have heard it said that time speeds up the older you get. I believe that to be true. Already we are approaching the last half of 2021. Harvest is well underway across the Prairies, and already farmers and rancher’s minds are turning to winter, with hopes of lots of snow (and enough feed to see them through) to put this dry year behind us. To everyone in the field, I hope you have a safe harvest and that it goes as well as it can.
Back in April, with the release of the Federal Budget, there was a commitment to invest an additional $60 million into the Innovation Supercluster Initiative. We expected this to be distributed between the five Superclusters, and now I can confirm that Protein Industries Canada has received an additional $20 million to support the growth of Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient ecosystem.
This commitment is illustrative of the strength of the Superclusters and their role in advancing Canada’s innovation ecosystem. We are appreciative of this additional support, and are committed to working with the federal government, and all of our partners, to help grow Canada’s economy and bring benefit to Canadians.
Protein Industries Canada has now invested $145 million into 35 industry-led, collaborative projects that will accelerate the growth of Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient ecosystem. The Supercluster investment has leveraged more than $239 million in industry funds. A preliminary review of 15 projects shows that the investment made by Protein Industries Canada will result in 6,200 direct and indirect jobs and create $8.9 billion in GDP within the next 10 years.
These new funds will allow us to continue to make investments to grow Canada’s economy, though the time to complete projects is shortening - all projects must be complete by March 31, 2023. Therefore, as we look to make what will be some of our final investments with our initial tranche of funding, we are encouraging collaborative projects that are focused on innovative new processing techniques that create new ingredients or food products with a clear path to market. As a reminder, we accept expressions of interests (EOIs) on a continual intake cycle, so consortiums can submit on the timeline that works best for them. However, I encourage interested consortiums to act quickly, as both time and available funds are ticking down.