On April 18, Protein Industries Canada launched our first call for projects, allocating $40 million for investment. The call, which closes June 28, recognizes a significant milestone for Protein Industries Canada as we officially begin the process of co-investing in projects with the potential to transform Canada’s value-added agriculture sector. The interest in plant-based protein, as evident from recent happenings, such as the Beyond Meat IPO, is skyrocketing; and whether you believe it to be a fad or here to stay, there is no denying that there is a need for more protein globally and plant-based protein will be part of the solution. Adding more value close to production is an opportunity that will benefit the entire Canadian agriculture value chain, and one that we should work together to capitalize on.
Since our launch in April, we have been on the road – or more accurately – the air – as part of our Transformation Tour. We started in Winnipeg in April and have been in Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton since then, with stops still planned for Saskatoon and Regina. The goal of the Transformation Tour is to bring companies together who are currently in the plant protein sector – and those that aren’t – to start collaborating and innovating around potential projects.
And so far the events have been fantastic.
There is an excitement in the room and the overall mood is optimism. That’s not to say that there aren’t challenges and we know there are still many hills to climb, but I am encouraged by the companies and entrepreneurs currently in the space. We recognize that we are asking companies to do business differently by collaborating with each other, but that is the basis of cluster theory – leveraging strengths to take advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges, and to accelerate innovation.
The first leg of the Transformation Tour wraps up on June 24 in Calgary with our inaugural AGM and Pitch Day. At the AGM we will elect our permanent board of directors and Pitch Day is an opportunity for organizations from all aspects of the value chain to highlight their company and share how they can contribute to projects and advance the ecosystem. This is bound to be an exciting day, and I encourage you to register either as a participant or as an observer.
We will be launching Phase 2 of the Transformation Tour again in the Fall – stay tuned for details.
On an organizational front, we have been very busy working to fill positions and I will be making announcements for several key positions soon.
In closing, I just want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement. The last six months have been nothing short of a whirlwind, but we have made significant progress in advancing the Supercluster and the ecosystem. As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss a project, please reach out.