A consortium of industry, academia and government entities from across the Protein Highway region of the Canadian Prairies and U.S. Upper Midwest have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen regional collaboration in research, business development and innovation in the rapidly developing alternative protein sector. The signing of the MOU was announced today during the 2019 State Agricultural and Rural Leaders Ag Chairs Summit in Calgary, Alberta.
The Protein Highway, an initiative led by the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis, MN, brings together participants with a shared commitment to increasing cross-border and regional collaboration. The MOU establishes goals for facilitating and promoting partnerships in research, commercial innovation and talent development. Canada is a top producer of plant protein-rich crops including canola and pulses, while the U.S. leads the globe in soybean production and is the #2 producer of field peas. These crops have gained popularity in recent years as high-value ingredients for alternative protein products including plant-based burgers, spreads and other consumer products.
Current MOU signatories include: the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (Minnesota), Bioscience Association Manitoba, GREATER MSP (Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership), the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta, GreenSeam (Minnesota), Ag-West Bio (Saskatchewan), Schwan's Company (Minnesota), Pest Surveillance Initiative (Manitoba), Prairie AquaTech (South Dakota) and the American Oil Chemists' Society (Illinois). The Protein Highway Initiative is in the process of establishing a 501c3 non-profit under the management of Minnesota-based Scientific Societies; its Founding Partners include Prairie AquaTech (South Dakota), AGT Food and Ingredients (Saskatchewan and North Dakota), Pest Surveillance Initiative (Manitoba) and Murphy et al Inc. (Manitoba).