Natural Products Canada Fuels Bioeconomy with Investment in 11 Cutting-Edge Technologies

December 12, 2023

Natural Products Canada (NPC) has announced $1.1 million in support for 11 groundbreaking products through its strategic Commercialization Programs. The recipients represent a diverse range of sustainable, natural product innovations from industrial dyes and asphalt, to bioplastics and poultry feed.

NPC’s contributions will enable a total of $3.1 million in strategic initiatives designed to help each client tackle the critical next step in their commercialization journey. Today’s announcement includes start-ups and research institutes from across the country, namely: AltaGreen, Aplantex Bio, BioDiffusion Technologies, Climicals, Enhanced Medical Nutrition, Infusd Nutrition, Lite-1, Naturfect, New Protein International, Opalia, and the University of British Columbia.

“Natural Products Canada is proud to support these breakthrough technologies that showcase Canada’s remarkable capacity for natural product innovation,” said Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada. “By investing in these innovative solutions, NPC is accelerating the growth of sustainable companies and products across a range of industries, and contributing to the health and well-being of our communities.”

NPC’s Commercialization Programs focus on three gaps commonly found in 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 $250,000 in support. Clients typically benefit from NPC’s extensive advice and guidance before, during and after applying for programs, ensuring maximum impact of NPC as a source of ‘smart capital’.

With today’s announcement, NPC has disbursed over $6.3 million to more than 70 companies, facilitating their growth and development through new product launches, increased revenues and additional capital. In fact, as of March 31st, for every dollar NPC has invested in a Canadian start-up, the start-up 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 new, private investment fund, Nàdarra Ventures that launched earlier this year.

In addition, NPC has provided advice and promotional support to over 1500 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. The Government of Canada has been a partner and investor in Natural Products Canada since its inception in 2016, relying on the organization’s deep domain expertise to help advance Canada’s sustainable food, agri-food and bioeconomies.

“Our government continues to partner and invest in Natural Products Canada because its programs are critical to advance Canada’s sustainable food, agri-food and bioeconomies. With today’s announcement, NPC has now invested over $6 million in more than 70 companies, helping them flourish and attract new investment, currently at a ratio of $64 dollars of new investment for every dollar provided, an outstanding return on investment. NPC has also provided advice and support to over 1500 Canadian start-ups, and facilitated thousands of connections through its extensive network of industry stakeholders, an invaluable contribution to the growth of the green economy in Canada.”

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

Details of the 11 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. AltaGreen

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $62,500

NPC Contribution: $25,000

AltaGreen has created hemp-based poultry feed that delivers high-quality omega fatty acids, plant protein and other phytonutrients that play crucial roles in promoting optimal health and growth. WATCH VIDEO>>

2. Aplantex Bio

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $50,850

NPC Contribution: $16,000

Aplantex has developed a green biotechnology platform to sustainably produce plant active ingredients for use in natural health, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. WATCH VIDEO>>

3. BioDiffusion Technologies

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $618,654

NPC Contribution: $250,000

BioDiffusion Technologies is literally tackling greenhouse gases where the rubber hits the road. The superior binding and sealing properties of their bioresin is a natural additive for asphalt concrete and secondary road stabilization. WATCH VIDEO>>

4. Climicals

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $12,735

NPC Contribution: $5,094

Climicals has developed an innovative process of converting sugars leftover from the food industry into valuable biobased chemicals for the flavour and fragrance markets. WATCH VIDEO>>

5. Enhanced Medical Nutrition (EMN)

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $66,000

NPC Contribution: $25,000

Enhanced Medical Nutrition (EMN) is a transformative food-as-medicine company with an evidence-based nutrition program to help patients prepare better and recover faster from surgery. WATCH VIDEO>>

6. Infusd Nutrition

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $603,750

NPC Contribution: $241,500

Infusd Nutrition’s patent-pending technology allows for the effortless water solubility of generally insoluble nutrients such as Vitamin D, Omega 3, curcumin, mushroom extracts and more. WATCH VIDEO>>

7. Lite-1

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $6,000

NPC Contribution: $2,400

Lite-1 is revolutionizing the colour industry by introducing the next generation of 100% sustainable colourants grown from microorganisms in a circular process. WATCH VIDEO>>

8. Naturfect

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $70,875

NPC Contribution: $25,000

Naturfect’s Liquid Earth line of biobased cleaning products outperforms established brands and shows exceptional results in Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing, ensuring the highest level of cleanliness with minimal environmental footprint. WATCH VIDEO>>

9. New Protein International

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $417,168

NPC Contribution: $250,000

New Protein International will produce the cleanest-label soy protein isolate in the world. Its proprietary clean technology removes the petrochemical hexane, a known carcinogen, from the production process. WATCH VIDEO>>

10. Opalia

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $625,000

NPC Contribution: $250,000

Opalia is one of the world’s first companies to develop a technology to make real milk without cows. This creates sustainable, animal-free milk, eliminating any production issues for dairy product manufacturers. WATCH VIDEO>>

11. University of British Columbia (UBC)

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $28,500

NPC Contribution: $11,400

UBC is tackling the global plastics challenge with biodegradable, transparent films made from local softwood kraft pulp. WATCH VIDEO>>

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.