AgriInnovation Program

Important Notices

The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. Of this, $468 million is available for funding projects based on applications from industry. The remaining funds go towards AAFC-led research, development and knowledge transfer activities, as well as program administration, that complement industry-directed initiatives. The program is designed to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting research and development activities in agri-innovations and facilitating the demonstration, commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes, practices and services. The aim is to enhance economic growth, productivity, competitiveness, adaptability and sustainability of the Canadian agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector and assist in capturing opportunities for the sector in domestic and international markets.

The AgriInnovation Program, announced under Growing Forward 2, brings together the pre-commercialization and commercialization stages of innovation. It builds on the Agricultural Innovation Program (ending March 31, 2013) which was created to maintain the innovation momentum until additional funding for activities became available under Growing Forward 2, as well as building on the Canadian Agri-Science Clusters initiative which will end on March 31, 2013.

The program will:

  • accelerate the creation, availability, application and transfer of knowledge and technologies to the sector; and
  • increase the successful demonstration, commercialization or adoption of agriculture, agri-food and agri-based innovations.

The Program is a five-year program ending March 31, 2018 and supports the following industry-led streams:

  • Industry-led Research and Development Stream
  • Enabling Commercialization and Adoption Stream


Industry-led Research and Development:

The objective of the Industry-led Research and Development Stream is to support pre-commercialization research, development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-based practices, processes and products. The Stream may provide non-repayable contributions to approved applicants, and/or support in the form of collaborative assistance given by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientists and experts for knowledge transfer.

The Industry-led Research and Development stream provides non-repayable support for two types of projects:

Agri-science cluster: Support aims to mobilize and coordinate a critical mass of scientific expertise in industry, academia and government. The agri-science cluster would be national in scope, industry-led, and address components of the sector’s applied science plan under a single application. Hence, it would address several themes that are priorities to the industry and would request support toward several research activities across the country.

An agri-science cluster may be commodity based, or may be horizontal in nature where it addresses cross-cutting issues that are of interest to more than one commodity.

Agri-Science Project: A single agri-science project or a smaller set of agri-science projects that would be less comprehensive than an agri-science cluster. The scope may be national, regional or local.

Enabling Commercialization and Adoption Stream:

The objective of the Enabling Commercialization and Adoption Stream is to facilitate the pre-commercial demonstration, commercialization and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes or services. The funding under this stream is designed to support, and reduce the financial risk associated with, these late-stage activities on the innovation continuum which is defined as the movement of innovation from research and development, through bench-scale testing, piloting, pre-commercial demonstration, to full commercialization.

The Enabling Commercialization and Adoption stream provides repayable contributions to approved industry-led pre-commercial demonstration, commercial or adoption projects. In order to be eligible under this stream, applicants must clearly demonstrate:

  • the innovative aspect of the proposed product, process, technology or service;
  • technical feasibility and readiness for market of the innovation;
  • sufficient evidence from the market to support the need and demand for the innovation;
  • the managerial capability to successfully complete the project; and,
  • the financial capacity to complete the project and to repay the contribution.

Types of projects under the Enabling Commercialization and Adoption Stream:

  • pre-commercial demonstration - projects involving the demonstration of an agri-innovation for which all necessary testing and piloting has been completed and the innovation is within 24 months of market or commercial operation; and
  • commercialization - projects in which agri-innovations will be introduced to the market at the successful completion of the projects.
  • adoption – projects involving the adoption of innovative agricultural, agri-food or agri-based products, technologies, processes or services where recent innovations are adopted and adapted into recipients operations.

Priority will be given to pre-commercial or commercialization projects that include one or more of the following:

  • involve recently proven innovations (within the last 5 years).
  • create or expand export markets.
  • are transformative to the agri-based sector.

Please note it is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate in the application proposal the innovative aspect of the proposed project.

Available Funding

The total maximum contribution to an applicant from all streams under the AgriInnovation Program cannot exceed $10 million per year.

Contact Information

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgriInnovation Program
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 130
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0C5

Toll Free Number: 1-877-246-4682
Fax: 1-866-309-4255
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600

Growing Forward 2
, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative

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