Feds of­fer up $4M for ini­tial pro­ject of ‘Pro­tein Su­per­clus­ter’

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - Cana­dian Press South­ern Al­berta News­pa­pers

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.

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