Natural Products Canada: Common Questions

Posted on October 06, 2017

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Ag-West Bio is proud to be the Western Canada node partner for Natural Products Canada (NPC). It’s been just over a year since the NPC team formed, including David Gauthier, the Regional Director for NPC-West, who is situated here in the Ag-West Bio offices. 
 
In the last year, David and the rest of the NPC team have spent a lot of time getting to know Canada’s natural product commercialization ecosystem. Through meetings, presentations, conferences and other events, they met with over 500 companies, researchers, investors, government departments, regulatory experts, industry associations and more.
 
Throughout these encounters, the team answered a lot of questions. They share some of the most common ones below: 
  1. What does NPC do? The short answer: NPC provides advice, connections and money to help natural product companies overcome commercialization hurdles. For more details, see their website.
  2. Where does NPC get its funding? As the Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) of natural products, just over half of NPC’s funding comes from the Networks of Centres of Excellence. They also receive support from provincial governments, universities and private corporations.
  3. Is NPC part of government? No. NPC is an independent not-for-profit corporation with its own Board of Directors. They also work closely with many federal and provincial departments and agencies to advance commercialization in Canada.
  4. Why doesn’t NPC hand out grants? Canada already has a healthy, globally-competitive granting system for research and development through various federal, provincial and regional programs. However, many express concern over the lack of capital available for companies in the commercialization phase. NPC addresses this gap by investing in promising companies. More importantly, they work with companies to ensure they are ready for investment, and connect them to other sources of capital such as angels and VCs.
  5. Does the Connect pillar just mean introductions and matchmaking? No. NPC thinks that effective introductions and matchmaking require an in-depth knowledge of the players. They spend time with each client to understand their business, challenges, and their commercialization path. In that process, NPC offers advice and guidance. Then, they ‘connect’ the client to the appropriate resource, program or expert within the ecosystem that can help them over the next hurdle.
If you have questions about NPC and how they can help you access commercialization resources across Canada, please contact David Gauthier at 306-717-7205.