Feds offer up $4M for initial project of ‘Protein Supercluster’
The first project towards creating a “Protein Supercluster” in Western Canada will mean $4 million in federal funds shared by a Calgary research firm that’s partnered with a southeastern Alberta grower, it was announced June 26.
Federal minister Navdeep Bains stated at a Calgary event that the award was the first and significant milestone for the program.
“This project is going to help foster new and innovative processing technologies that will increase the value of key Canadian crops popular in foreign markets,” stated the minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
One partner in the study is Rowland Farms, which bills itself and Western Canada’s largest organic producer and has branches in Taber, Vauxhall, Grassy Lake and Barnwell,
The focus will be to improve separation and purification of hemp and canola oil and protein, thereby increasing yields.
Leading the project is Calgary-based research developer Botaneco in partnership with Corveta, the company created when Dow and Dupont merged their agriculture divisions. Industry will also invest $2 million in matching funds toward the two-year project.
In total, Ottawa plans to invest $153 million over four years though “Protein Industries Canada.” That initiative aims to bolster value-added processing, sector development and trade.
Global demand for protein derived from plant sources is expected to grow by about six per cent annually until 2023, when the entire trade could be worth $15 billion.
In April, the government put out the first call for proposals comprising the first $40 million of funding. That initial deadline is Friday, though a second deadline is Sept. 1.