On Wednesday, August 9, 2017, Cape Breton University’s Chancellor and clean-tech champion, Annette Verschuren, joined Member of Parliament Rodger Cuzner to announce over $1 million in support of innovation projects in Cape Breton’s fisheries and agri-food sectors.

Through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program, two local organizations were able to receive funding that are conducting projects aimed at reducing waste in food and seafood processing. The first investment was with the Verschuren Centre at Cape Breton University, which was a $750,000 contribution for an 18-month project to create a pilot facility with machinery and equipment needed to convert underused seafood and agri-food processing waste into valuable mixtures.

“The novel technology processes developed by the Verschuren Centre researchers will help deliver real value solutions to a variety of seafood processing industry sectors. This funding will help to build a pilot facility to apply these processes on a larger scale. The Verschuren Centre team is committed to developing industry solutions and opportunities to grow a sustainable economy,” said Dr. Beth Mason, CEO of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment.

The second project has ACOA investing $293,000 in the form of a repayable contribution to Northsyde Processing, a subsidiary of Louisbourg Seafoods. The funding enables Northsyde Processing to implement a filtering system to remove shrimp shells out of the waste stream to create additional revenue for the company. Currently, there is a demand for this waste product ranging from medical bandages to diet supplements, due to the valuable properties contained in the substance. This announcement marks Louisbourg Seafoods’ first phase of the company’s overarching goal to fully utilize all of its marine resources, including waste.

“In the face of changing world markets and the many new and exciting challenges in today’s modern fishery, the Louisbourg Seafoods group of companies recognizes that innovation is the key to success. We are committed to providing the freshest, highest quality products to the global marketplace. Our team strives daily for new and innovative ways to make this happen,” said Adam Mugridge, Project Development Manager of Northsyde Processing Ltd.

Emcee of the announcement, Annette Verschuren, applauded the collaboration demonstrated across Cape Breton’s leading industry sectors.

“This is an example of community, industry, and academia working together. This expecting government to do it all isn’t going to work. Expecting industry to do it all will not work and expecting academia to do it won’t work either. But I will tell you, when we work together we make things happen,” said Annette Verschuren, Executive Chair of NRStor Inc. and Chancellor of Cape Breton University.

The Cape Breton Partnership looks forward to the successful outcomes of these two exciting initiatives.