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Insect Protein Production Gets $6.5M Boost From Canadian Government

It will be located in London, Ontario.

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The Canadian government is investing up to 8.5 million Canadian dollars (US$6.5 million) to help Aspire build a cricket protein production facility.

The investment through the AgriInnovate Program “will allow the company to monitor and grow billions of crickets at a time, producing a nutrient-rich protein for premium health food and pet markets, according to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Edible insect production “can provide high volumes of nutritious food with a low environmental footprint,” the release notes.

The demand for alternate sources of protein is growing, with the global market for pet food exceeding US$90 billion and global demand for edible insects for human consumption forecast to be worth more than US$8 billion in the next decade, according to the release.

The Aspire facility will be located in London, Ontario.

“Aspire is re-imagining what it means to sustainably produce food, and how smart technology can turn that vision into a reality,” said Francis Drouin, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Aspire’s innovative facility will help further establish London’s reputation as a hub for cutting-edge technology, strongly contributing to Ontario and Canada’s position as an innovator in agriculture and agri-food.”

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Aspire was formed by five McGill University students in 2013 interested in finding solutions to global food scarcity. The company was launched after the team won the 2013 US$1 million Hult Prize, an annual social entrepreneurship competition that challenges students to build businesses that contribute to solving a pressing social issue.

In addition to Ontario, the company has a research and development facility in Austin, TX.

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