Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 28, 2011 10:00 ET

Harper Government Highlights Canadian Commercialization Success

Research and development investments strengthen economy, improve quality of life

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2011) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, visited Phyterra Yeast Inc. today to celebrate the company's success in commercializing advanced yeast technologies. This innovative company received support from the Government of Canada through the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC–IRAP), its Nutrisciences and Health Cluster in Charlottetown and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The Minister was joined by several of her caucus colleagues who are visiting other companies across Canada today to highlight similar commercialization successes that are strengthening the economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians.

"Our government is pleased to support Canadian companies that invest in research and development to bring new ideas to the marketplace, creating new jobs and strengthening our economy," said Minister Shea. "Phyterra Yeast is a Canadian success story and an example of how businesses can succeed when they invest in research and commercialize new discoveries."

Phyterra Yeast is developing and commercializing advanced biotechnology products to reduce naturally occurring ethyl carbamate, a byproduct of yeast, which is used to ferment many foods and beverages. This product is found in many commonly consumed products such as wine and is classified by the World Health Organization as a probable carcinogen in humans.

"We believe our relationship is an excellent example of a highly productive collaboration between industry and federal government resources," says Garth Greenham, President of Phyterra Yeast Inc. "The research and development we pursued here by accessing the world-class equipment and expertise at the NRC in Charlottetown helped us successfully commercialize our product. And we are now achieving sales in international markets."

Increasing business investment in research and development is crucial to Canada's long-term competitiveness. To remain at the forefront of the global economy, Canadian businesses must invest in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow's breakthroughs. Programs such as NRC–IRAP are helping businesses innovate.

Canada ranks first among the G7 countries in terms of expenditures on research and development in the higher education sector as a share of the economy.

Canada's science and technology strategy was launched by Prime Minister Harper in 2007 with the goal of encouraging our businesses to invest in research and development and to bring new ideas into the marketplace for the benefit of all Canadians. Through the 2006, 2007, and 2008 budgets, the government provided an additional $2.2 billion in new funding for science and technology initiatives.

Years one and two of Canada's Economic Action Plan built on these investments by providing $6.3 billion in additional funding for research infrastructure, research, highly skilled people and commercialization.

For more information on Canada's science and technology strategy, please visit the Industry Canada website (

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft - Director of Communications
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations