Canada's new Protein Industries Supercluster expected to create more than 4,500 middle-class jobs in the Prairie Provinces and across Canada
$950-million investment nationwide positions Canada for an innovation boom in high-growth sectors
February 22, 2018, Regina, SK
When small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations come together to generate bold ideas, Canadians benefit from more well-paying jobs, groundbreaking research and a world-leading innovation economy.
This is what businesses and partners from the Prairie Provinces will do as part of the Protein Industries Supercluster, which was selected as part of the Government of Canada’s $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative. This was the message delivered today by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the University of Regina.
Through plant genomics that improve nutrition, novel processing technology and digital solutions from farm to fork, the Protein Industries Supercluster will help Canada increase the value of key crops in premium markets and answer the increasing demand for plant-based meat alternatives in North America.
In 2017, the Government of Canada challenged Canadian businesses of all sizes to collaborate with other innovation actors, including post-secondary and research institutions, to propose bold and ambitious strategies that would transform regional economies and develop job-creating superclusters of innovation, like Silicon Valley.
The Innovation Superclusters Initiative is a centrepiece of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to prepare Canada for the innovative jobs of today and tomorrow.
“Canada is investing in five superclusters so that tomorrow we will be more than 50,000 jobs richer and benefit from an even stronger economy—an innovation economy. With the Superclusters Initiative, we bet on Canadians. We looked at what we did well across our great nation, and we asked industry, academia and NGOs how we could do it better. The response was impressive and the ideas were remarkable.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“The Protein Industries Supercluster will take the enormous value of the plant proteins our farmers produce, and multiply and magnify it to help feed the world, and in the process, elevate Canadian agriculture to a new level of productivity and sophistication. The supercluster will become a magnet for the best brains in the world in proteins, agricultural science and business, and for the systems required to service opportunities globally. It will create more than 4,500 new jobs and add more than $4.5 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years. This is great news for the economy of Saskatchewan and Canadian innovation.”
– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The world has a growing appetite for crop protein. That’s a huge new opportunity for Canada but also a challenge. The Innovation Supercluster Program will help farmers, feed and food processors meet that challenge and provide high quality plant proteins for the global market. We are very grateful to the federal government for the vision and investment of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. This is an industry-led project, with ag and food science industries staking $450 million. But we could not get this project to the stage it needed without the Innovation Superclusters Initiative.”
– Frank Hart, Chair of the Board for the Protein Industries Supercluster
The five Canadian superclusters are the Ocean Supercluster (based in Atlantic Canada), the SCALE.AI Supercluster (based in Quebec), the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster (based in Ontario), the Protein Industries Supercluster (based in the Prairies) and the Digital Technology Supercluster (based in British Columbia).
Superclusters are dense areas of business activity where many of the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. They attract large and small companies that collaborate with universities, colleges and not-for-profit organizations to turn ideas into solutions that can be brought to market.
Together the superclusters represent more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other participants in sectors covering 78 percent of Canada’s economy.
Having the strong representation of women and under-represented groups in these superclusters is a top priority. The superclusters will endeavour to increase the representation of women and under-represented groups in their activity and leadership, helping them succeed in skilled jobs in highly innovative industries.
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA
Karl W. Sasseville
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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