New Investment in Agri-Food by Federal Government
Prairies Economic Development Canada announced on November 12 that it will provide $1.5 million in funding to the Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP), a not-for-profit organization established by Ag-West Bio (AWB), the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan, Innovation Place and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre).
“The Government of Canada recognizes the immense potential for Saskatchewan to become an even stronger global leader in the agri-food industry and to benefit from the economic advantages of a growing global demand for food products. By helping early stage Saskatchewan agri-food companies to innovate and address the challenges that start-ups can face, we’re ensuring that they can capitalize on growth opportunities, increase their competitiveness, and create high-quality jobs that people in Saskatchewan can rely on,” said Hon. Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
The funding will allow GAAP to further help agri-food companies advance their technologies for the marketplace and provide support including access to greenhouses and laboratories at Innovation Place and GIFS; scale-up and acceleration assistance including connections to customers; equity investment; and programs for companies (including international) to establish presence in Western Canada.
“When the partners set out to create the Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP), we saw a void in capital in Western Canada’s agri-food space. Combining the fund with our extensive network of business experts and world-class infrastructure is what makes GAAP truly unique. We are proud to be supporting cutting-edge technology companies through to adoption, and in turn help the sector be more competitive on the global stage,”
said Jay Robinson, interim CEO, Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership and COO, Ag-West Bio Inc.
Agtech Accelerator and Innovate UK Announce Partnership
On November 9, the Agtech Accelerator announced a new partnership with Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency. The partnership will see up to five UK companies join the accelerator’s yearly cohort.
“Innovate UK is really pleased to be working with the Agtech Accelerator as part of its Global Incubator Programme helping UK businesses to build partnerships and collaborations and to explore the opportunities
offered by the Canadian and North American market,” said David Golding, Head of Global Innovation Partnerships, Innovate UK. “It is a really exciting opportunity and we look forward to working and building the
partnership with Agtech Accelerator and furthering the relationships between Canada and the UK.”
The Agtech Accelerator was founded by Cultivator, the Conexus Credit Union tech incubator and accelerator in Regina, Economic Development Regina, and Emmertech, an agtech-focused venture capital fund. The accelerator offers one cohort per year, and each company in the cohort will receive an equity investment upon intake. Applications for the first cohort (10 companies) are being accepted until November 26, 2021.
“Providing safe, nutritious food for a growing global population requires a global response,” said Tina Beaudry-Mellor, chief economic growth officer, Economic Development Regina. “Partnerships like this greatly
enhance the impact of the Agtech Accelerator and further establish Regina, and Saskatchewan, as a key centre of innovation in the global food sector. We’re thrilled to welcome Innovate UK onboard, and we look forward to
growing new opportunities together.”
Inland Steel on the Move
Saskatoon’s Inland Steel has finalized a deal with the City of Saskatoon for a parcel of land in the city’s Marquis Industrial area. The deal will allow Inland Steel to relocate its headquarters and build a new and expanded metal recycling facility. The company will move from its current home at Avenue P and 17th Street West and will allow that property to be rezoned for light industrial use.
“Reaching this land agreement with Saskatoon Land creates the opportunity for our company to build a new headquarters and state-of-art metal recycling facility in Saskatoon, where our family business was formed 55 years ago,” said Matt Ditlove, president, Inland Steel Products on November 8. “This investment demonstrates our company’s continued commitment to serving the people of Saskatoon and surrounding area, and to the creation of additional jobs for our community.”
Federated Co-operatives Limited Secures Land for Renewable Diesel
Regina City Council has approved the sale of land to Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) for the company’s planned renewable diesel plant. The proposed project would be constructed north of FCL’s existing Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) in Regina. Regulatory approvals are still required for the project to proceed, as well as favourable market conditions. The deal is worth $5.48 million.
“This project will play a vital role in our transition to the low carbon economy,” said Scott Banda, CEO of FCL. “Renewable diesel will provide our local Co-ops with the ability to sustainably support Western Canada’s fuel needs well into the future, while ensuring our co-operative has another viable solution to meet our regulatory obligations. We thank Mayor Masters and Regina City Council for recognizing the benefits of this project, for the City, for FCL and for Western Canada.”
FCL anticipates that plant construction will create $1.85 billion in economic activity, and the plant will create up to 150 jobs once operational in 2027. The renewable diesel will be produced primarily from locally-sourced canola.
Standard Uranium Completes Summer Drilling Program at Davidson River Project
Vancouver’s Standard Uranium Ltd. announced November 9 that the company has completed its summer drilling program at its Davidson River Project in northern Saskatchewan, with final results coming in the next few weeks. Initial results indicate showing elevated radioactivity in the Saint, Warrior and Bronco trends.
“Despite challenging conditions, we have intersected some of the most prospective basement structure and alteration to date along the Bronco and Warrior trends, in addition to zones of elevated radioactivity associated with reactivated structures and pegmatitic basement rocks,” said Jon Bey, Standard Uranium president and CEO.
Karnalyte Resources Inc. Reports Q3 Results
Saskatoon’s Karnalyte Resources reported its Q3 results on November 11. For the quarter ending September 30, 2021, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $2.2 million and positive net working capital (current assets less current liabilities) of $2 million and no debt. Karnalyte reported downsizing its headquarters into a virtual office model for cost savings, and continues discussions with potential partners and funding sources.
Karnalyte is focused on two projects in Saskatchewan – the Wynyard Potash Project and Proteos Nitrogen Project. The Wynyard project is “a construction ready solution mining potash project located in Wynyard, Saskatchewan, with planned phase 1 production of 625,000 TPY of high grade granular potash, and two subsequent phases of 750,000 TPY each, taking total production up to 2.125 million TPY.” The Proteos project is a proposed nitrogen fertilizer plant, and would be the first greenfield nitrogen fertilizer plant to be built in Canada in more than two decades if constructed.
Skyharbour Resources Ltd. Announces Results from Moore Uranium Project
Skyharbour Resources reported the presence of additional high grade basement-hosted uranium mineralization in the Maverick East Zone at its Moore Uranium project in the Athabasca Basin, and final assay results are pending for six more drill holes.
“We are very pleased with the results thus far from this most recent drill program at our flagship Moore Uranium Project as we continue to outline new high grade zones of uranium mineralization at the Maverick Corridor and make notable progress at earlier-stage regional targets. Final assays are pending for six holes from the program and we plan to commence a fully funded winter drill program early in the new year to follow up on these results. Skyharbour is very well positioned to benefit from the accelerating uranium market recovery with strong discovery potential and upcoming news flow from its continued drilling at Moore as well as at partner funded projects. Worth highlighting is that we now have five partner companies with Azincourt Energy, Valor Resources, Basin Uranium Corp. and Medaro Mining each planning upcoming exploration and drill programs at the East Preston, Hook Lake, Mann Lake and Yurchison projects, respectively,” said Jordan Trimble, Skyharbour Resources president and CEO.