Our First Year: Common Questions

November 30, 2017

It’s been just over a year since the NPC team formed. In that time, we have spent a lot of time getting to know Canada’s natural product commercialization ecosystem. Through meetings, presentations, conferences and other events, we’ve met with over 500 companies, researchers, investors, government departments, regulatory experts, industry associations and more.

We learned a lot, but we also received a lot of questions. Here’s a few of the more common ones:

  1. What do we do? The short answer: we provide advice, connections and money to help natural product companies overcome commercialization hurdles. For the longer answer, see our website.
  2. Where do we get our funding? As the Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) of natural products, just over half of our funding comes from the Networks of Centres of Excellence. We also receive support from provincial governments, universities and private corporations.
  3. Are we part of government? No. We are an independent not-for-profit corporation with our own Board of Directors. We also work closely with many federal and provincial departments and agencies to advance commercialization in Canada.
  4. Why don’t we 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. We address this gap by investing in promising companies. More importantly, we work with companies to ensure they are ready for investment, and connect them to other sources of capital such as angels and VCs. Our Investor Meeting (June 2017) was an example of one of the ways we help make those introductions.
  5. Does the Connect pillar just mean introductions and matchmaking? No. We think that effective introductions and matchmaking require an in-depth knowledge of the players. We spend time with each client to understand their business, challenges, and their commercialization path. In that process, we do our best to offer advice and guidance. Then, we ‘connect’ them 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 we can help, please contact your local regional director.