New supercluster project to help Canadian processors be more efficient by doing more with their products

Protein Industries Supercluster project seeks to find new uses for by-products from processing

The Government of Canada is committed to growing the economy, creating middle-class jobs and keeping Canada competitive. That is why the Government introduced the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which brings 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 Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced a new project supported by the Protein Industries Supercluster to help Canadian organic growers and processors by developing a new use for by-products from the pulse processing industry. Through this project, products that were once considered waste will be turned into fertilizer to deliver nutrients to plants. This collaborative project will take Lucent BioSciences’ proprietary technology for “micronutrient fertilizers” to the manufacturing stage with partners AGT Food and Ingredients and 4D Labs, a research facility at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.

Project partners Lucent and AGT met at a supercluster-supported agriculture event a year ago in Regina —an example of how superclusters are creating new opportunities for collaboration. Lucent, an SME, pitched at the event, where Murad Al-Katib, CEO of AGT Food, was a judge. Mr. Al-Katib is one of the founders of the Canadian plant protein industry and, as current chair of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table, is part of an unprecedented collaboration between industry and government focused on turning Canadian economic strengths into global advantages.


“This project supported by the Protein Industries Supercluster is a great example of how superclusters are bringing about new connections and opening avenues for collaboration between small and medium-sized enterprises, larger companies, and academia. The project takes an SME-developed technology to the next level by putting it to the test in fields across western Canada. By helping Canadian processors find new uses for by-products that were once considered waste, we’re diversifying the agricultural sector and creating more jobs for Canadians.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canada is home to innovative entrepreneurs who are creating clean solutions to protect the environment and grow the economy. This supercluster project has the potential to not only make farming more eco-friendly but also improve the quality of food that farmers grow. My congratulations to Lucent BioSciences, AGT Foods and Simon Fraser University. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this pilot!”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“From the very beginning, we have said that being part of the supercluster would require companies to do business differently. This project is the perfect example of what can happen when two companies bring their collective strengths to collaborate and create new opportunity. We are proud that we had a small part to play in these two companies meeting each other and coming together for this project.”
– Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada

Quick facts

  • This project represents a total investment of up to $3 million, including up to $1.3 million from the Government of Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative and $1.7 million in contributions from industry and academia.
  • 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 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

The City of Saskatoon will host a breakfast briefing at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, March 18, focused on the Agri-Tech opportunities in Canada, featuring speakers from Saskatoon and surrounding regions.