Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of Labour and the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, announced on behalf of Maxime Bernier, minister of Industry, repayable investments totaling $29 million in research and development (R&D) projects by Premier Tech Ltd., a Rivière-du-Loup-based company.
The funding is part of three separate projects totaling $79.6 million that will generate environmental benefits for Canadians, including water quality and energy conservation.
"These R&D projects will produce benefits not only here in Quebec, but in various parts of the country," Minister Blackburn said. "Investing in sustainable development and environmental technologies benefits Canadians and provides them with a cleaner and healthier country."
"Innovation is vital for economic strength," said Minister Bernier. "Companies like Premier Tech are increasing knowledge and developing new solutions to environmental challenges, ensuring that Canada remains competitive in global markets."
Premier Tech specializes in the design and production of peat moss-based growing media for commercial operators and consumers. The financial assistance from Canada's new government will help to:
- Develop improved equipment for innovative peat harvesting and storage systems, resulting in reduced dust emissions, energy consumption, and product and packaging waste, as well as improved regeneration of wetlands;
- Create on-site wastewater treatment technologies to solve environmental problems associated with wastewater systems and ensure optimal management of water resources;
- Introduce beneficial organisms to growing media to produce plants that are more resistant to drought and disease.
"These investments in our innovation, research and development program will lead to the creation of over 150 new products," said Premier Tech president and CEO Jean Bélanger.
A repayable investment of $19.1 million is being made by Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, and $9.9 million by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.