University of Manitoba to helm protein research

Up to $100,000 in federal, provincial funds promised to develop research strategy

Researchers at the University of Manitoba will lead the charge to develop a new protein research plan as part of the Manitoba Protein Advantage strategy.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will give up to $100,000 in funding to develop the research strategy and establish a protein research chair, announced federal ag minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and provincial ag minister Blaine Pederson in a news release September 25.

James House, the head of the university’s Department of Food and Human Nutritional Science, will lead the project.

“As Canadians have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vitally important we support initiatives that will bring about investment and job opportunities throughout our country,” Bibeau said in a statement. “Our government will continue to support the agriculture and agri-food industry as they are leading our nation on the road to a sustainable and prosperous recovery.”

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The strategy will seek to align efforts to identify opportunities and key areas of protein research. This will better enable Manitoba to capitalize on untapped market potential and investment opportunities the province said.

The project will go forward in two phases, says a provincial backgrounder on the topic.

Phase one will take stock of the “sustainable protein research ecosystem” in Manitoba, including holding a protein research symposium to share findings.

The second phase will establish the protein research chair at the U of M, which should provide leadership to protein research in Manitoba.

The move comes as part of the Manitoba Protein Advantage strategy, a provincial plan rolled out last year that aims to increase animal and plant protein production and to position Manitoba as “North America’s protein supplier of choice,” the strategy says.

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