Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is encouraging companies to submit projects that can foster growth in the country’s plant-based food sector.
CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel says they’re is accepting a second round of Expression of Interest letters for it’s Technology Leadership Program, starting today (Mon). He says the EOI’s are ideas and concepts that companies might be interested in having PIC co-invest in.
The second call for projects is under a new allocation of $150-million in funding through the Global Innovation Cluster program.
In the first call for projects, Greuel said they received 36 EOI’s, a good sign in his eyes.
“It really demonstrates the optimism that Canadian companies have about the growth of a plant-based food sector, and it also shows the demand for a service like ours to help companies off-set the cost of innovation, and an organization like ours to help accelerate the pace of innovation.” said Greuel.
The criteria for these projects are the same as in the first round:
• Genetics: Germplasm development with an aim to improve processing efficiency, quality,
sensory characteristics and the development of novel ingredients.
• Crops: Technologies to measure and improve on-farm sustainability and information flow along
the value chain.
• Ingredients: The development, scaling and optimization of plant-based ingredients.
• Products: The conversion of Canadian-made ingredients and co-products into consumption ready goods.
The deadline to submit an EOI during the second round is June 26th.
Approved projects may receive a reimbursement of up to 45 percent of eligible costs, according to Protein Industries Canada in a news release. A decision, Greuel says, will come within two weeks of receiving an EOI, but noted the speed of the process is up to the company, “so however fast the company wants to move we can develop a full-project application inside of a month if that’s how fast the company can move.
“Generally the process from the day that Protein Industries Canada receives an application to the day we approve a project is about 3 to 4 months.” he added.
Greuel says one of the biggest things the organization is trying to do is increase the amount of ingredient processing that’s happening throughout the Prairies.
“That gives farmers options on where to market their grains, oilseeds and cereal crops,” he said. “You can imagine us funding and supporting a company to increase ingredient manufacturing in rural Saskatchewan.
“If they build a processing facility, that gives farmers a place to market their crop that’s close to the area of production…it helps them manage some of the issues and challenges of rail transportation; it opens up new markets that takes away the risk of non-tariff trade barriers that sometimes the pulse industry is facing; it reduces the transportation costs for producers to get their products to a market; and just more competition for the purchase of the raw commodities in rural Saskatchewan.”
More details can be found on the Protein Industries Canada website.