Canadian Alternative Protein Co-innovation Mission London UK


The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Protein Industries Canada are pleased to invite Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to submit an expression of interest to join in a partnering mission to London, UK.

This mission will take place from September 25-29, 2023, and is anchored around the Future Food-Tech, London.

The program will include pitch sessions and B2B meetings with selected top-tier UK SMEs focused on alternative proteins. For the purpose of this mission, alternative proteins will include firms leveraging plant-based, cellular agriculture, insect and fermentation technologies.

Mission objective

This partnering mission is focused on connecting Canadian SMEs to United Kingdom corporations looking to develop alternative protein technologies with the aim of forming collaborative research and development (R&D) partnerships that lead to co-innovation projects. Through this support, Canadian businesses will be better equipped to build their innovation capacity, successfully commercialize their technology and become more competitive in the global marketplace.

Key dates

Deadline to submit expression of interest: July 12, 2023
Notification of results: July 28, 2023

Sector of focus

Alternative Protein, including:

  • Ingredients and Value-Added Products
  • Adding Value / Enhancing Quality
  • Waste Stream Management/ Co-Product Utilization
  • Animal Feed / Pet Food applications
  • Cellular Agriculture

Canadian delegation profile

  • Profit-oriented SMEs incorporated in Canada;
  • Previous experience in market access in domestic and/or international markets;
  • Capacity and interest to partner with compatible UK SMEs and research partners;
  • Committed to expansion in the UK and European markets;
  • Sufficient working capital and human resources to undertake a multi-year R&D collaboration, including costs associated with possible efficacy studies and other market access requirements;
  • Preference may be given to clients based on employee numbers and having generated revenues from sales.
  • Preference may be given to SME applicants who:
  1. have a minimum of 10 full‑time equivalent employees
  2. have commercialized 1 or more products domestically or internationally
  3. have greater than $500,000 CAD in annual revenue.

Since aspects of this sector such as fermentation and cellular agriculture are emerging fields, we recognize these firms may not meet the typical employee/rev targets, however, we strongly encourage them to apply as they will be considered.

Note: the intention will be to provide up to $5,000 in IRAP financial support towards travel and participation costs for selected clients.

Future Food-Tech Summit

Future Food-Tech Summit - Innovation & Investment from Farm to Fork shines a spotlight on new technologies and partnerships that are building healthier and more sustainable food systems. The summit offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet like-minded food brand directors, investors and entrepreneurs to share, showcase and scale these innovative solutions.

With two action-packed days of thought-provoking panels, insightful presentations, roundtable discussions, workshop sessions and live tasting experiences, the summit facilitates knowledge exchange, high-value connections, and long-lasting business relationships.

The event attracts > 800 leaders from food brands, ingredient providers and investors (e.g. Kraft, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Waitrose, Unilever, ING Bank, etc.). The 2023 program themes include: Food Security, Climate-Smart Food, Nutrition Without Sacrifice, Fortification, Futuristic Food (next-gen alternative proteins), Optimising Biotech, Replenishing the Microbiome, GMO vs. Clean Label, and Investor Outlook. For more information please see the website: futurefoodtechlondon.com.

Preliminary mission agenda

Monday & Tuesday, September 25-26: Site visits and tailored B2B meetings with UK research hubs, companies, and research centres. This part of the itinerary is in active development by IRAP, Global Affairs Canada, Innovate UK and Proteins Industry Canada.

Wednesday, September 27: An Alternative Protein partnering event hosted at the High Commission of Canada in London where UK companies, industry associations, researchers and public agencies will be invited to attend and pitch project ideas. Clients will pitch their company capabilities and areas of interest for international collaboration.

Thursday & Friday, September 28- 29: Future Food Tech Summit participation including Networking sessions, B2B meetings.

Contact and for more information

Tamara Kononoff, AgFood Sector Team Lead