Through a $30 million commitment under the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy (PCAIS), Protein Industries Canada is launching a new stream of programing that will co-invest in collaborative projects that utilize artificial intelligence to help grow Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem efficiently and sustainably.
“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.”
The adoption of new technology, particularly technology that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning, can lead to significant benefits across Canada’s plant-based ecosystem. New technology allows companies to scale their operations, helping Canada’s plant-based sector grow to achieve the goals set out in The Road to $25 Billion and strengthening Canada’s economy. At the same time, the increased use of artificial intelligence technology boosts the already significant environmental benefits offered by Canada’s plant-based protein sector, helping the country reach 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 Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “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.”
The potential uses of artificial intelligence technology range significantly, from food formulation and recipe development, to food safety analysis and quality assurance, to using consumer data to drive product innovation. By working proactively to determine how best AI technology can support companies across Canada’s plant-based ecosystem optimize their operations, Protein Industries Canada can help them scale up their businesses and become more competitive in the plant-based market.
The Artificial Intelligence Program’s first round of project intakes is open from Sept. 14, 2022, to Oct. 26, 2022; a second round of intakes will open in early 2023.