Natural Products Canada boosts Canada’s bioeconomy with smart capital for 9 sustainable start-ups 

March 27, 2024

Natural Products Canada (NPC) has announced $1.2 million in support for 9 game-changing companies through its strategic Commercialization Programs. The recipients reflect the broad application of nature-based solutions, featuring everything from plant-based leather alternatives to animal probiotics. 

NPC’s contributions will enable a total of $3.5 million in strategic initiatives designed to help each client tackle the critical next step in their commercialization journey. Today’s announcement includes start-ups from across the country, namely: Aux Labs, Anodyne Chemistries, Canbiocin, Flaura cuir Végétal, Gestion Dryad, NanoTech Innovation, Neptune Nanotechnologies, RFINE Biomass Solutions, and SixRing. 

“Natural Products Canada sees tremendous potential in nature-based solutions as a source of sustainable economic development that makes Canadians proud,” said Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada. “NPC’s investment in these companies signals our belief in the game-changing technologies, and their potential to be truly competitive businesses that meaningfully contribute to their communities and the planet as a whole.”

NPC’s Commercialization Programs focus on three gaps common to highly innovative companies: product validation, talent, and competitive strategy. The Proof of Concept, Access to Talent, and Fast Track to Financing programs address each of these gaps and provide up to $350,000 in support. Acting truly as “strategic angels” NPC works with applicants before, during and after the official application process, providing in-depth advice, guidance and connections to resources from across the country. 

With today’s announcement, NPC has disbursed over $9 million to more than 75 companies, facilitating their growth and development through new product launches, increased revenues and additional capital. In fact, for every dollar NPC has invested in a Canadian start-up, the company was able to attract another $64. Thirteen of those companies were part of NPC’s initial investment fund, which led to the creation of the private investment fund, Nàdarra Ventures that launched last year. 

In addition, NPC has provided advice and promotional support to over 1600 Canadian start-ups and has curated thousands of strategic introductions through its extensive network of investors, industry leaders, business and technical consultants, and others that help advance sustainable innovation. 

“Thanks to our government’s support, Natural Products Canada is helping Canadian entrepreneurs navigate the marketplace and bring a wide range of ecologically mindful products to consumers. These projects represent diverse opportunities for innovation, while creating skilled jobs and promoting a greener economy for all Canadians.”

-The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Details of the 9 Commercialization Program recipients are listed below. For more information about these clients and their technologies, or to explore opportunities to collaborate with Natural Products Canada, please contact Sue Coueslan at [email protected].

  1. Aux Labs

Program: Access To Talent

Project Budget: $188,600

NPC Contribution: $75,000

Province: Ontario

Aux Labs is revolutionizing alternative protein production with yeast. Initially focused on caseins, they are nearing price parity with traditional proteins.

2. Anodyne Chemistries

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $771,430

NPC Contribution: $250,000

Province: British Columbia

Anodyne Chemistries has a carbon-reducing process that uses the power of natural enzymes to sustainably convert CO2 into valuable industrial ingredients.

3. Canbiocin

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $124,200

NPC Contribution: $49,680

Province: Alberta

CanBiocin’s species-specific probiotics improve the health and wellness of companion animals and livestock.

4. Flaura cuir Végétal

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $97,100

NPC Contribution: $38,840

Province: Quebec

Flaura cuir Vegetal makes plant-based leathers from apple waste. This project help them scale production to meet demand of the luxury textile market.

5. Gestion Dryad

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $91,845

NPC Contribution: $36,738

Province: Quebec

Gestion Dryad is developing sustainable plant-based alternatives to leather, which match performance, including breathability.

6. NanoTech Innovation

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $166,000

NPC Contribution: $66,400

Province: British Columbia

NanoTech Innovation develops a novel plant-based product that transforms rust to a primer and protective anti-corrosion layer.

7. Neptune Nanotechnologies

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $816,750

NPC Contribution: $250,000

Province: Ontario

Neptune Nanotechnologies uses waste shells from crab, shrimp, and lobster to create sustainable chitin nanocrystals that are stronger than steel, lighter than plastic, and biodegradable in soil.


Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $554,640

NPC Contribution: $221,856

Province: Nova Scotia

RFINE turns used coffee grounds into valuable ingredients, using advanced technology that is efficient and cost-effective for coffee shops.

9. SixRing

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $715,942

NPC Contribution: $250,000 

Province: Alberta

SixRing harnesses nature by converting low value, non-food, waste biomass into advanced biofuels and sustainable chemicals with up to 80% fewer GHGs

Natural Products Canada (NPC) is the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster–a strategic and diverse community focused on the development and commercialization of naturally-derived products and technologies in health and life sciences, natural resources, agriculture and agri-food, and sustainable bioproducts. As part of its role in the Cluster, NPC offers in-depth advice and a suite of commercialization programs to Canadian early-stage companies and research institutes; provides connections and innovation scouting services to corporations and investors; and leverages an investment fund (Nàdarra Ventures) to help develop and de-risk promising Canadian opportunities. NPC has received financial support from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, administered by the department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR) program, administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence.