Shelley King

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A Charlottetown company has announced a strategic partnership that will support its unique natural product innovation network of advice, connections, programs and investment to advance Canadian natural product innovation.

With $20 million in new support from the Government of Canada, Natural Products Canada (NPC)and its partners will help 500 Canadian companies developing natural products and technologies as diverse as nutrition supplements and feed ingredients to compostable packaging and environmental remediation.

“We are honoured to have the endorsement of the Government of Canada,” says Shelley King, CEO of Natural Products Canada. “With this new funding, NPC and its strategic network can help over 500 Canadian companies bring their innovative products and solutions to market where they can serve the needs of real customers in Canada and around the world.”

NPC works exclusively with Canadian innovators who are developing naturally-derived products and technologies to tackle major issues such as climate change, food production, and animal and human health and nutrition. The demand for these new innovations is coming from a broad range of industries–agriculture, food & beverage, veterinary health, personal care, and cleantech to name a few–and represents a trillion-dollar market opportunity.

“Our government stands behind our brilliant innovators, to make sure they have access to the expertise, knowledge and resources to grow and reach markets all across our country," said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "Our support will help Natural Products Canada bring together businesses, academia and industry players to reach untapped markets, grow their businesses, create jobs and provide natural, sustainable and healthy products for Canadians.”

NPC leverages the strengths and resources of multiple partners to support Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster, a highly diverse and connected network of start-ups and SMEs, research institutes, investors, corporations and others involved in the research, development and commercialization of innovative natural products and technologies. Strategic partnerships include NPC’s node partners (the Prince Edward Island BioAlliance, the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Food, the University of Guelph, Bioscience Association Manitoba, Ag-West Bio, and BioAlberta) as well as many other provincial, regional and international governments, organizations, investors, and corporations.

“The Cluster relies on those with the talent, technical and industry expertise, and other resources to develop and commercialize these game-changing innovations that can benefit people, animals and the planet,” says King. “The department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is a very welcome addition to this dedicated Cluster.”

The new funding from the Government of Canada was derived through the department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Strategic Innovation Fund Stream 5. A key component of the funding will enable $28M for strategic Commercialization Programs, which have helped advance 25 new natural products and technologies to market, generating 48 new jobs, $12M in new revenue, and $22.9M in new investment in their successful pilot stage.

The Commercialization Programs address key challenges common to highly innovative and/or technical ventures and complement NPC’s comprehensive platform of advice, connections and investment that has already helped to advance over 800 Canadian natural product innovations. NPC has invested in 13 Canadian companies, which has resulted in $17.9 in additional investment for every dollar NPC invested. Its recently launched second investment fund, NPC Ventures, aims to bring $50M in new direct investment with the potential to leverage over $200M in co-investment into Canadian ventures.

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