Supercluster launches project to breed high-protein canola

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PIC in the News

Project expected to enhance Canadian canola's value in global markets

SASKATOON, Jan. 15, 2020 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to growing the economy, creating middle-class jobs and keeping Canada competitive. That is why we created the Innovation Superclusters Initiative in 2018, bringing together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to serve as anchors of innovation, growth and job creation across the country.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced a new commercial breeding project to produce high-protein canola hybrids for both human consumption and animal feed. This $27.6-million R&D effort is the latest project to be approved by the Protein Industries Canada supercluster, a pan-prairie initiative seeking to make Canada a leading source for plant proteins.

Corteva Agriscience, Bunge Canada and Botaneco, a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), are collaborating to breed high-protein canola using gene-editing technology. These new canola seed varieties are expected to be well suited for both traditional processing methods like crushing and newer technologies like the one being developed through the supercluster's first supported project announced in June. In turn, this will make Canadian canola even more of a premium product in global markets over the next decade, resulting in economic benefits across the entire value chain.

Quotes

"It is great to see the Protein Industries Canada supercluster build further momentum through new projects and even more investments. This project especially will help produce canola that commands premium value—both at home and in international markets. This will help growers become more profitable and create more jobs in the agri-food sector."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

"Canadian canola farmers can be assured that we have their back, and are making significant investments to give them the most innovative and in-demand products to help the canola sector grow. Investing in science and innovation is a priority for our Government and this project will help us reach our target of $75 billion in Canadian agri-food exports by 2025."
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Canola is one of Canada's most important crops, and this project will have significant impacts along the entire value chain. By investing in breeding to improve protein and reduce fibre, we will increase the value of Canadian canola and open up new markets for food and feed applications, resulting in higher demand and prices for the meal."
– Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada

Quick facts

  • A Government of Canada investment of up to $13.6 million in this canola project has helped leverage over $14 million in contributions from industry and other partners.
  • Under an agreement signed with Protein Industries Canada, the Government of Canada is investing up to nearly $153 million in the supercluster, with industry expected to match dollar for dollar in project value over a five-year horizon.
  • The Protein Industries Canada supercluster is expected to create more than 4,500 jobs and add more than $4.5 billion to Canada's economy over 10 years.

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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Véronique Simard, Senior Advisor, Communications and Media Relations, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca, 343-291-1777