Natural Products Canada helps ten Canadian innovators overcome commercialization hurdles

June 22, 2023

Natural Products Canada is helping ten Canadian innovations get closer to market by contributing over $1 million through its strategic Commercialization Programs. The recipients represent a range of sustainable bio-based solutions developed by start-ups and universities from across Canada. NPC’s Program contributions support over $3 million in activities ranging from regulatory planning to field trials.

“We continue to be inspired by the innovators we work with on a daily basis,” says Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada. “The solutions have the potential to address challenges as diverse as protecting our bee populations to ensure our farmers can produce enough food, to reducing the amount of material that ends up in our landfills.”

Natural Products Canada is focused on bio-based innovation, which means a key part of the technology must be based on a biological component. This can range from active compounds found in plants to bacteria that perform key activities such as cleaning up contaminated sites. The bio-based focus is reflected in the range of Program recipients that span from natural cleaning products and insect repellents to technologies that turn waste materials into fuels.

“Our government recognizes the immense strength of Canadian innovation, which serves as a driving force for our nation. And through NPC’s Commercialization Programs, we can harness innovative spirit towards developing green solutions for global challenges. That’s why we are eagerly anticipating the outcomes of all ten recipients of the Commercialization Programs’ inventive proposals aimed at addressing longstanding issues through cutting-edge technologies and facilitating their market adoption.” The Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Natural Products Canada’s Commercialization Programs supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, are designed to address the types of challenges that early-stage bio-based technologies face, including validating their technologies at industrial scale, adding critical expertise to their teams, and addressing key gaps in their business plan. The Programs, which offer up to $250,000 in funds, are highly competitive. Each applicant must provide a compelling case for their innovation and the key challenge the Program funds will address.

“The NPC team provides advice and guidance to ensure the applicants are directing their time and money wisely,” says King. “We often hear from companies that their project plans are much more strategic and impactful because of the insights the team provides along the way.”

This in-depth engagement with the applicants often fosters opportunities in other areas of NPC’s service portfolio, such as introductions to strategic partners or invitations to participate in key events.

“NPC uses many tools to advance promising innovations,” says King. “The Programs in combination with the team’s insights and connections act as a powerful catalyst for the companies. We are proud to be able to support Canada’s bio-based innovation ecosystem in this way.”

The ten recipients are listed below. For more info, contact Sue Coueslan

Atlantick Repellent Products (Nova Scotia)

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $45,000

NPC Contribution: $18,000

Atlantic Repellent Products creates bug repellents without the use of synthetic and harmful chemicals to provide an alternative that is healthier for people, animals and the environment. They are using the Program funds to pursue regulatory strategies for new products under development.

Farment BioSolutions (British Columbia)

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $322,200

NPC Contribution: $105,080

Farment BioSolutions has developed a waste treatment system that processes organic waste through fermentation. The solution works with both unprocessed organic waste and digestate waste produced from biogas production, and has the potential to create additional value-added products including fertilizer. The company will use the funds to conduct anaerobic digestate demonstration trials.

InnuScience Group (Quebec)

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $54,900

NPC Contribution: $21,960

InnuScience Group has a range of cleaning and hygiene products composed of microorganisms, natural enzymes and plant-based surfactants. They will use the Program funds to conduct a market analysis for a range of new products.

Nature ReCombined Sciences (British Columbia)

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $737,065

NPC Contribution: $250,000 Nature ReCombined Sciences has developed a safe and natural product with the potential to support and sustain the vital role of honey bees in our food production systems. The company will use the Program funds to conduct safety and efficacy trials of the natural product on honey bee diseases.

Natures Crops International (Prince Edward Island)

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $635,299

NPC Contribution: $250,000

Natures Crops Inc. supplies proprietary plant derived ingredients for the global nutritional and personal care industry. The business develops, grows and processes specialized oilseed crops to produce high value ingredients and operates under a completely ‘closed loop’ model. The company will use the funds to conduct research on the upcycling potential of the waste stream of their primary product into a value-added industrial ingredient.

New School Foods (Ontario)

Program: Access to Talent

Project Budget: $189,750

NPC Contribution: $75,000

New School Foods has developed a patented food structuring technology to produce whole-cut meat alternatives. The first product is a whole fillet of salmon that looks, cooks, flakes, and tastes just like conventional salmon with the same nutritional profile. The company is using the Program funds to hire a Lead Food Materials Scientist to design the food science R&D and product development platform.

NULIFE GreenTech (Saskatchewan)

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $744,119

NPC Contribution: $250,000

NULIFE GreenTech is set to make significant impact in reducing organic waste.  Their patented Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) technology transforms high moisture, industrial wastes into profitable biofuels, biochar, and carbon credits while reducing costs and emissions. The company will use the Program funds to assess and optimize the process of breaking down different feedstocks into biocrude.

Phytokraft Environmental Solutions (Ontario)

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $41,040

NPC Contribution: $16,416

Phytokraft Environmental Solutions is developing an at-scale, bolt-on, continuous process that recovers natural phytochemicals from industrial production processes. The initial target is a rare compound that provides woody, amber notes prized in the flavour and fragrance industries. The company is using the Program funds to develop an R&D and commercialization plan.

Sesh Products (British Columbia)

Program: Fast Track to Financing

Project Budget: $62,500

NPC Contribution: $25,000

Sesh Products has developed a nicotine replacement therapy for the Canadian market. This novel nicotine dosage delivery system offers an alternative therapy to current tobacco users that is long-lasting, tobacco-free, smokeless, stain-free, and discreet. The company is using the Program funds to develop the regulatory strategy for the product.

University of Alberta (Alberta)

Program: Proof of Concept

Project Budget: $196,075

NPC Contribution: $78,430

The University of Alberta is using the Program funds to evaluate performance data, economics and scale-up of a thermally reversible gel made from pea protein. The gel can provide food texture (yogurt, jellies, etc) or encapsulate bioactive ingredients (gummies) creating additional opportunities for this upcycled food to reach vegetarian, halal, and kosher food markets.

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