Official launch of Protein Industry Canada supercluster brings stakeholders together to explore opportunities

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By 2050, plant protein will account for 1/3 of the world’s protein market. Protein Industries Canada (PIC), the industry-led, not-for-profit supercluster, has been created to unleash the potential of Canadian crops and capture this growing opportunity.

Bringing together talent and uniting people with purpose were the goals of the first Thought Leaders’ Summit hosted by PIC. Over 280 attendees from across the Prairies, Canada, and the U.S. gathered to explore the opportunities and innovations emerging in the plant protein sector.

On day one leaders from industry, education, associations and government, as well as speakers from the Netherlands and Australia, amplified the message that protein is where the action is!

“The world is close to a tipping point where plant protein becomes mainstream,” stated Gerard Klein Essink, founder of Bridge2Food. “The unique opportunity for Canada is to supply the ingredients and ultimately, the foods that bring high quality protein to the world.” PIC’s four strategic pillars of create, grow, make and sell are designed to achieve that vision.

Agriculture is in a rapid state of change. Advancements in big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and related technologies are disrupting traditional practices in the agri-food sector. Rob Saik, founder of Agri-Trend Group, shared that agriculture is becoming a combination of high-tech connected to high-touch. Preparing for this future is the focus of PIC’s Pan-Prairie Academic and Training Working Group (PPAT-WG), a group of experts from industry and academia who are collaborating on programs to build the skills, training and talent needed to embrace these changes.

Day two of the summit highlighted the linkages, work-integrated learning solutions and multi-partner projects that can prepare our Canadian workforce for these new job opportunities.

The summit also served as the official launch of the protein supercluster. PIC leadership provided an overview on the governance, membership and program advancements to date. Over the next few months, PIC will be ramping up operations under the guidance of the new CEO Bill Greuel. The priorities will include finalizing the supercluster agreement, engaging stakeholders, building a team and advancing communications.

Presentations from the summit are available for download here.