Protein Industries Canada announced the launch of a new string of programming, funded by a $30 million commitment from the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy (PCAIS), according to a release.
The program will join collaborative projects that employ artificial intelligence to grow plant-based food, feed and ingredients “ecosystem efficiently and sustainably” in Canada, shared the release.
“By providing $30 million through our government’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy to the Protein Industries Cluster, we are helping to drive the commercialization and adoption of AI,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This funding will help to generate new partnerships and create new investments, and it will tap into the potential of AI and digital technologies in a sector that is growing to become a $25 billion industry.”
Protein Industries Canada hopes the adoption of the new technology will enhance Canada’s plant-based sector and strengthen the economy. The programs will work towards the goals set by The Road to $25 Billion, a framework created to set direction for the plant-based ecosystem in Canada.
The increase in artificial intelligence technology could also boost the existing environmental benefits provided form the plant-based protein sector, pushing the country even closer to its net-zero goals.
“Canada’s plant-based processors and manufacturers have proven time and again how innovative they are, as shown by the incredible outcomes of the projects they’ve undertaken through our current programs,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada. “Providing them with easier access to artificial intelligence technology is the next step in ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to create new healthy and sustainable ingredients and food options. This new program, in combination with our existing programs and the dedication of Canada’s trailblazing companies, make Canada a leader in the supply of plant-based protein, and in reaching our goal of $25 billion in global plant-based sales by 2035.”
Artificial intelligence technology offers services including food formulation development, food safety analysis, quality assurance and more. Protein Industries Canada believes utilizing AI technology can make plant-based companies more competitive in the market.
The first round of program intakes open Sept. 14, 2022, and close Oct. 26, 2022. The second round is set to begin in early 2023.