The federal government announced Friday it will contribute $14-million over five years to a natural products commercialization centre to be headquartered in Charlottetown.

The non-profit Natural Products Canada (NPC) will research, develop and market natural products and technologies in neutraceuticals, cosmetics, food, agricultural and veterinary care, and other areas.

The federal money will be matched by more than $10 million from industry and other sources for total funding of $24 million by 2021.

Federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains made the announcement at the Atlantic Veterinary College with Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, and P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this important stage on the research spectrum: getting products out of the lab and into the market, so that they can begin to improve the lives of Canadians,” Bains said in a written statement Friday.

Match research, business interests

Bains also announced the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) in Montreal will receive $15 million in funding over five years to develop, translate and commercialize cancer immunotherapy.

The two projects were the successful applicants of a competition in the federal Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program. More than 25 proposals were submitted from across Canada.

The centres of excellence match research interests with the business community to help develop products and technologies so they can be marketed commercially at a point in the process when it’s often hard to get private-sector investment.

The funding will help stimulate Canada’s natural products industry to strengthen the sector in the global market, said NPC’s chief executive officer Shelley King in the statement.

“Together with our founding partners, we can connect existing research, infrastructure and expertise from regions across Canada, and we are pleased to lead the first national CECR hosted in the Maritimes.”

The centre will employee eight staff members in Charlottetown and its partner offices in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.


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