Capacity Building

Removing barriers for growth

At Protein Industries Canada our sights are set on building capacity within Canada’s plant protein sector, in a way that delivers benefit to our members and the entire value chain. The Capacity Building program is focused on advancing Canada’s agrifood sector and creating a competitive and sustainable global business environment, while incenting new approaches to doing business and removing barriers to growth.

The Capacity Building program brings together forward-thinking companies and organizations to develop projects that will transform our industry and help realize Canada’s agrifood potential. Our ability to realize this potential depends on collaboration, and we are looking to work with partners who will help us advance our sector and are willing to do business differently, without duplicating existing efforts.

Priority areas

In addition to supporting R&D in Canada’s plant-based sector, Protein Industries Canada strives to build out capacity in the ecosystem. With a particular focus on ensuring our sector has access to the tools and resources it needs to grow to a $25 billion sector, we will increase capacity by focusing our efforts in the following areas:

Market and Ecosystem Insights

Help project partners and the wider Canadian plant-based ecosystem identify marketing opportunities, adapt to customer needs, expand market reach, and foster innovation.

Innovation Infrastructure

Across the sector, there is a need for increased access to research and product-scaling infrastructure.

Access to Talent, Labour and Skills

We estimate the sector needs an additional 17,000 people to achieve the goals set out in The Road to $25 Billion. This demonstrates both a need and a great opportunity.

Supportive Regulatory Framework

There is an opportunity to modernize Canada’s regulatory system to support continued innovation of plant-based foods, specifically for it to be more responsive and timely and to offer harmonization of regulations with other jurisdictions.

An Inclusive Sector that Brings Benefit to Every Canadian

Protein Industries Canada is committed to inclusion of Indigenous People and new Canadians into the opportunity presented by the growth of the plant-based sector, contributing to Economic Reconciliation and the social well-being of all Canadians.

Access to Capital

We estimate that an additional $4 to 6 billion will need to be invested into the sector to help Canadian companies scale up their processing and manufacturing operations.


Canada is known for its sustainable crop production. We need to continue to identify the right metrics and reporting to advance our sustainability claims throughout the value chain.

Global Presence

International partners are an important part of reaching the goals of The Road to $25 Billion. Protein Industries Canada will work with our federal and provincial partners to advance Canada as the preferred place to do business with and invest, while creating opportunities for our industry partners to make new connections.

In collaboration with industry, Protein Industries Canada will advance these priorities to ensure Canada is best positioned to fully realize Canada’s agrifood potential. Protein Industries Canada is looking to invest in bold, transformational projects that will have a lasting impact on Canada’s plant-based food ecosystem.

Application Process and Eligibility

Protein Industries Canada will co-invest in collaborative consortia projects that leverage strengths, address gaps and develop innovations. All projects are expected to engage diverse and inclusive teams with meaningful participation of women, Indigenous Peoples and/or other under-represented groups.

The magnitude and proportion of Protein Industries Canada’s contribution to an approved project will be determined by how, and the extent to which, the project outcomes are aligned with the priority areas and Global Innovation Cluster themes and the potential for ecosystem transformation.

All projects start at the EOI stage, during which time the consortium may receive advice as to how a project can better meet eligibility criteria, or feedback on scope and scale of the project. All EOIs are assessed by a team of Protein Industries Canada staff. EOIs that meet eligibility requirements are assessed for fit with Protein Industries Canada’s Investment Thesis, Global Innovation Cluster prioirites, and against other program criteria. Selected projects move on to the Full Proposal stage. The project, its budget and its workplan are fine-tuned throughout this stage. Once complete, the project is presented to the Project Selection Committee, which is comprised of industry experts independent of Protein Industries Canada Board of Directors. The Project Selection Committee may determine whether the project receives approval, is declined or is tabled for more information.

Protein Industries Canada staff are available to support project consortia throughout the proposal development process.

The project application process is made up of two parts:

  1. The Expression of Interest (EOI)
  2. Full Project Proposal

Please read through the Program Guide before beginning the project process. This outlines the program structure and eligibility requirements.

Capacity Building Program Guide
Guide du programme de Renforcement des Capacités

The Project Selection Committee

The Project Selection Committee evaluates and makes the final decision regarding co-investment into a project. The committee may approve the project, decline the project, table the project for further information, or approve only a portion or specific aspect of the project.

Members of Protein Industries Canada’s Project Selection Committee have experience related to Protein Industries Canada’s Investment Thesis and expertise relevant to the technical areas for which Protein Industries Canada co-investments are available. Protein Industries Canada tasks the Project Selection Committee with reviewing Application Packages and selecting projects appropriate for co-investment.

Members of the Project Selection Committee are governed by a Conflict of Interest Policy. At no time prior to, during, or following a project evaluation, may a member of a consortium attempt to influence or have a conversation about their project with any member of the Project Selection Committee. Doing so may result in the project being disqualified. All members are expected to comply with the Code of Member Conduct and the Project Selection Committee-Applicant Interaction Policy.

Jo Anne Buth

JoAnne Buth

JoAnne Buth spent her career devoted to the agriculture sector and focussed on bringing the various parts of the value chain together to ensure a sustainable agri-food industry. She worked in private industry, for government and non-profits. Prior to her retirement in 2019, she was the CEO of the Canadian International Grains Institute. JoAnne spent two years in the Senate of Canada representing the Province of Manitoba and sat on the Senate Standing Committees of Agriculture and Forestry and on National Finance. Before joining the Senate she was the President of the Canola Council of Canada and over the years has served on many agriculture advisory committees in private industry and government.

Read more about JoAnne Buth

Milton crop

Milton Greyeyes

Milton Greyeyes is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation located in Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan. Milton is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia earning a business degree at the Sobey School of Business. His career has focused on Indigenous business in private industry and non-profits, currently holding the position of Senior Relationship Manager, Indigenous Financing at FCC. In his current capacity, Milton works with Indigenous communities to encourage more First Nation, Inuit and Métis led agriculture and food production by providing business solutions and financial support. Milton also serves on numerous boards and committees.

Stephen MJ

Stephen Morgan Jones, PhD

Dr. Stephen Morgan Jones was born in the UK and completed advanced degrees before moving to Canada. He has held both research and teaching positions in universities and was a principal scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada before his appointment as a Director General for the Research and Technology Branch. In 2014, he established a company that specializes in research project review and project development for multiple organizations. He has participated in numerous grant selection committees at Federal and Provincial levels and served on the Boards of the Western Grains Research Foundation and Genome Alberta.

How to apply

We are currently not accepting EOIs at this time. If you have any questions about the Capacity Building program, please submit an inquiry below.