Supercluster expected to grow demand and value for Canada’s pea and canola crops

News release

Industry-led partnership launching novel processing project

January 10, 2020 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Government of Canada is committed to growing the economy, creating middle-class jobs and keeping Canada competitive. That is why we created the Innovation Superclusters Initiative in 2018, bringing together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to serve as anchors of innovation, growth and job creation across the country.

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced a new project from the Protein Industries Canada supercluster to commercialize new highly soluble, highly functional pea and canola protein isolates. These novel isolates will eliminate the grittiness experienced with less soluble proteins and will improve the flavour profiles of plant-based products, including in plant-protein beverages and meat alternatives. This project aligns with the shift in consumer trends, which has led to a growing demand for more options, and will provide Canadians with better tasting plant-based alternatives.

Merit Functional Foods, Pitura Seeds, Winning Combination and the Manitoba Food Centre are collaborating to use patented technology from Burcon NutraScience to produce the new protein isolates with more than 90% purity. The project is expected to increase the demand for and value of Canadian pea and canola crops, enabling our farmers to sell more of their product. 


“I am delighted to see continued momentum from the superclusters through new projects and even more investments in the commercialization of new technology. This project from the Protein Industries Canada supercluster will solidify Canada’s reputation as a global leader in plant proteins, while helping to build a stronger agricultural sector by adding value along every step of the value chain.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“As the Special Representative for the Prairies, I know how important the Protein supercluster is to Winnipeg and the region. This new project will help position Canada’s plant-based proteins industry for new markets around the world.”

– The Honourable Jim Carr, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Prairies and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre

“This project is a great example of why the Innovation Superclusters Initiative was created. The consortium consists of businesses from across the value chain coming together to create new products not currently produced anywhere else in the world. This will increase the demand for and value of some of Western Canada’s biggest agricultural commodities—peas and canola—and create new products to sell to customers across the globe.”

– Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada

Quick facts

  • A Government of Canada investment of up to $9.5 million in this project will be matched at least dollar for dollar by industry and other partners. 

  • Under an agreement signed with Protein Industries Canada, the Government of Canada is investing up to nearly $153 million in the supercluster, with industry expected to match dollar for dollar in project value over a five-year horizon. 

  • The Protein Industries Canada supercluster is expected to create more than 4,500 jobs and add more than $4.5 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years.

Associated links


Naline Rampersad
Special Assistant
Ministers’ Regional Offices
Tel. 204-983-0226

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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