September 26th, 2016

// National organization wants Canada to be the Silicon Valley of natural products

National organization wants Canada to be the Silicon Valley of natural products

Natural Products Canada (NPC), the national centre of excellence for the commercialization of natural products, has completed its initial round of hiring, setting the stage for Canadians to benefit from a thriving natural products sector.

"We have formed a national team to help Canada benefit from the growing global demand for natural products," says Shelley King, CEO of NPC. "We're ready to help companies and researchers access the resources they need to bring validated ideas to market faster, cheaper, and more efficiently."

The initial hires will focus on NPC's mandate to align and optimize Canada's assets – natural resources, technologies, platforms, expertise, and world-class research – into a vibrant, pan-Canadian natural products ecosystem that can save time and effort for natural product companies.

Along with King, the NPC team is comprised of Sue Coueslan, VP Communications and Stakeholder Relations; and Karen Wight, VP Investment and Finance. In addition, NPC has hired its first three regional directors: David Gauthier of NPC-West will work closely with the regional node, Ag-WestBio; Paul-Thomas Lacroix of NPC-Quebec will work closely with Quebec's regional node, the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods, Université Laval; and Stephen Ball of NPC-Atlantic will work closely with the Atlantic node, the PEI BioAlliance. Other regional directors will be recruited in the near future.

NPC was announced February 12, 2016 by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Since then, King and the Board of Directors have been engaged in strategic planning and recruitment.

"There is real potential for Canada to be a global leader in the commercialization of natural products and technologies," says Board Chair, Robert Orr, a 35-year veteran of the food, nutritional ingredient, and private equity investment business. "We have spent the last few months working with stakeholders across the country to shape the plan that will turn that potential into reality."

Partnering with a wide range of private and public investors, experts, and organizations, NPC will create a unique commercialization system to help companies and researchers address the many factors involved in bringing high value products to the marketplace.

Key initiatives for the first year of operations include launching the NPC investment program and developing a database of the technologies, platforms, service providers, investors, and expertise essential to the successful commercialization of natural products.

Natural Products Canada (NPC) is a not-for-profit organization with a vision to make Canada flourish as the Silicon Valley of natural products. It aims to align, expand, and optimize the pan-Canadian natural products ecosystem to accelerate the development of products and technology platforms that bring real value to real customers. NPC was established in 2015, and is funded by a range of public and private investors, including the Government of Canada's Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR) program administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence.



Image with caption: "Newly formed Natural Products Canada will align and optimize existing assets, expertise, and investments into a national ecosystem to accelerate the commercialization of natural products and technology platforms. From left to right: Sue Coueslan, Paul-Thomas Lacroix, Karen Wight, David Gauthier, Shelley King (CEO), and Stephen Ball. (CNW Group/Natural Products Canada)". Image available at:

SOURCE Natural Products Canada


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