It is amazing how quickly time passes by. It's been a year since Protein Industries Canada was announced as one of Canada’s five Superclusters. Since then the Board of Directors and the PIC team have been working hard to get PIC up and running. While it may seem that not a lot has happened in the past year, I can assure you that we have made significant progress towards opening our membership and starting to accept project proposals. Our top priority is operationalizing PIC, and to start investing in the plant protein industry.
However, before we can start accepting project applications, we have some important work to complete, including:
- putting key policies and processes in place such as our organizational bylaws, membership agreements, privacy agreements and more;
- developing our IP and Data Management Strategies;
- staffing key positions;
- creating the independent review committee;
- working through the project selection process;
- building a new website to support membership sales and project applications; and more.
While most of this is being completed behind the scenes, it is important work that must be done correctly to ensure the success of PIC and our ability to support the plant-protein industry in Canada. We expect to have many of our key processes and strategies in place shortly, and plan to launch our membership drive and start accepting project applications this spring. More information on how to become a member of PIC and the application process will be available soon.
In addition to getting ready to launch our membership and application process, PIC is also planning many events. The first is a Data and IT Lab on March 27 in Olds, AB. This day-long session will explore possibilities around data, and how we can use it to support work across the ecosystem. If you are interested in attending this session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also working with Bridge2Food to host a Plant Protein Ingredient Summit in Saskatoon on May 29-31 for the research and ingredient processing sectors and a Plant Based Foods Summit, June 3-5 in Calgary for food processors.
We have had many positive discussions with our partners located in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on how we can best deliver service in each province. Working together to help strengthen the ecosystem in each geography and across the Prairies will be key to our success. To help build our presence in each province, we are currently recruiting for a Program Specialist to be in each of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. These positions will be our “boots on the ground” to help organizations through the application process, and to assist successful consortium projects with ongoing support and reporting. We also have a position posted for an IP Manager and a Program Coordinator. More information on these positions can be found here.
In other staffing news, I am pleased to welcome Tiffany Stephenson and Deidre Plosz Rowley to the PIC team. Tiffany joins us as our Chief Marketing Officer and Deidre as Corporate Secretary and Executive Assistant. We will also be announcing a permanent Chief Technology Officer soon. Bob Tyler will complete his term with us at the end of March. I am thankful for Bob’s guidance and expertise over these last few months. His insight and connections to the research community and food industry, coupled with his dedication and passion, have been invaluable as we work to set up the project selection process. I would like to thank Bob for his work and know that he will continue to be an asset to the plant protein ecosystem in western Canada.
I am confident that this spring will bring many exciting things for PIC and the agriculture and food sectors. Progress will happen quickly once we complete a few more key steps. We appreciate your ongoing support during this exciting time.