About 170 people from Protein Industries Canada and industry stakeholders gathered in Edmonton this week for their Annual General Meeting.
CEO Bill Greuel says government representatives and a delegation from the University of Alberta were also at the AGM on Wednesday.
He says the focus was on how to make Canadian companies – from ingredient manufacturers to food companies – more competitive globally.
“What we’re trying to do is create new business arrangements, new opportunities for collaborative innovation, a new and stronger supply chain in Canada’s plant-based food space. I think that’s going to be the real outcome of when we come together as an ecosystem.” Greuel said.
Looking back over the past year, Greuel highlighted the Technology Leadership Fund – a fund dedicated to supporting large-scale innovation projects. He says the first round of funding helped 55 projects at almost $500-million. The second round of funding has launched and Greuel says it already has gained a lot of interest, “almost a billion dollars worth of requests for funding from Protein Industries Canada.”
“I think it speaks to the level of optimism and the opportunity in the plant-based food space,” he said.
Greuel says they’re in the process of reviewing projects for the second round of funding and may have an announcement “in the upcoming weeks and months.”