Meta-Evaluation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Innovation Programs (3 of 9)

2.0 Program Profile

2.1 Context

As a science-based department a significant portion of departmental spending is for in-house research and over many decades AAFC research and development led to improvements in agricultural inputs, including new crop varieties and livestock genetics, new feeding regimes and production methods.

Government instruments to support innovation may also include tax incentives, regulations, infrastructure, intellectual property rights, patents, standards, trade interventions, knowledge and advisory services, and grants and contributions. AAFC uses mainly programs, including departmental activities and grants and contributions, which are both the focus of this evaluation.

AAFC innovation investments are funded through different funding envelopes (e.g., Vote 1 Operating, Vote 10 Grants and Contributions), and different policy frameworks (e.g., Action Plan, Growing Forward). The aim of the Action Plan programming was to foster transformation towards improved profitability in the sector and to maximize the opportunities available for future growth. The Growing Forward suite of innovation programs established the current innovation continuum (Refer to Annex B, Figure 2) used by the Department to articulate its efforts in promoting innovation. Through Growing Forward, AAFC increased its investment in innovation programming almost threefold compared to its predecessor, the Agricultural Policy Framework.

2.2 Overview of Programs

AAFC has 20 innovation-related programs Footnote 4 that include a mix of Vote 1, 5, and 10, A-base and sunsetting programs. Programs support a variety of innovation activities, from basic and applied research through to commercialization.

Twelve innovation programs were assessed as part of the meta-evaluation and are grouped below by the innovation phase to which they most contribute:

  • Discovery Phase
    • AAFC in-house Science Research
  • Pre-Commercialization / Pre-Adoption /Technology Transfer Phase
    • Agri-Foresight
    • Agri-Science Clusters
    • Developing Innovative Agri-Products
    • Promoting Agri-based Investment Opportunities
    • Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program
    • Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program
    • Regulatory Activities
  • Commercialization / Adoption Phase
    • Agri-Opportunities Program
    • ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative
    • Agri-Processing Initiative
    • Agri-Marketing

Initiatives included on AAFC's innovation continuum (See Figure 1) but not assessed included in-house Market and Industry Services and Agri-Environment Services.

Some AAFC initiatives contribute to innovation but have mandates broader than innovation and given that they also contribute to other AAFC strategic outcomes, in particular environmental sustainability and competitiveness, not solely innovation, they have not been included on the innovation continuum. The initiatives include: the Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs), Value Chain Roundtables, Slaughter Waste Innovation Program (SWIP), Agricultural Flexibility Fund related initiatives (Science Addressing Market Opportunities and Challenges, Agri-Based Processing, and Profitability Improvement), FCC Venture Capital (Supporting the Innovative capacity of farmers), and Sustainable Agri-Enviro Systems (SAGES).

Annex D includes a description of all AAFC innovation programs while Annex E provides additional information on the programs examined in the evaluation.

2.3 Program Resources

The total annual budget for AAFC innovation programs is approximately $380 million. Table 1 identifies the 2010/11 budget allocations for innovation programs evaluated.

Table 1 - Budget Allocations for Innovation Programs (2010/11Footnote 5
  Total
Budget [1]
Funding Source Timeline

Source: AAFC Corporate Management Branch, June 2011.

Notes:
[1] Program Figures include Vote 1 and 10 funding, salary and EBP and non-program operating funding (PWGSC accommodation).
[2] The Research Branch figure includes salaries and wages, Matching Investment Initiative funds, other operating, and royalties for research and development and other purposes. Vote 5 funds have been excluded and Vote 10 funds are captured in other programs identified in this table.

G&C Programs
Agri-Opportunities Program (AOP) $34.7 m Action Plan 2006-2011
Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) $36.7 m A-base 2009-2014
Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP) $34.2 m Action Plan 2006-2011
Agri-Science Clusters Program (ASC) $14.5 m Growing Forward 2008-2013
Agri-Processing Initiative (API) $13.1 m CEAP (Agri-Flex) for 2009/10 to 2011/12, Action Plan for 2011/12 to 2013/14 2009-2014
ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative (ecoABC) $40.9 m Action Plan 2007-2013
Developing Innovative Agri-Products Program (DIAP) $18.0 m Growing Forward 2008-2013
Sub-Total: G&C Programs $192.10 m    
Non G&C Programs
Research Branch - Vote 1 [2] $160.72 m A-base Ongoing
Regulatory Action Plan (RAP) $24.6 m Growing Forward ---
Agri-Foresight (AF) $1.6 m Growing Forward 2008-2013
Promoting Agri-Based Investment Opportunities (PAIO) $0.849 m Growing Forward 2008-2013
Sub- Total: Non-G&C Programs $187.77 m    
Total: All Programs $379.87 m    

Figure 1 shows a heat map and how AAFC funding for 2010/11 is distributed along the innovation continuum. The largest amount of funding is directed toward basic and applied research. Other programs with significant funding are CAAP, AOP, and ecoABC. After basic and applied research, most funding for innovation is directed to programs that fall under the pre-commercialization phase.

Figure 1 - Distribution of Funding by Innovation Phase (2010/11)

Description of this image follows
Description - Figure 1

Figure 1 illustrates AAFC's innovation programs along AAFC's Innovation Continuum and the distribution of AAFC funding by Innovation Phase for the year 2010/11.

The AAFC Innovation continuum includes three phases from the Discovery Phase, to the Pre-Commercialization /Pre-Adoption/Technology Transfer Phase, to the Commercialization/Adoption Phase. Each phase includes two or more components.

  • The Discovery Phase includes Basic Research and Applied Research.
  • The Pre-Commercialization Phase includes some Applied Research as well as Prototype Development, Demonstration Full Scale, and Market Ready Product Development.
  • The Commercialization Phase includes Market Ready and Market Development programs or activities.

The diagram identifies under which phase and component each of the 11 identified programs or initiatives fall and how much funding was provided to each program in 2010/11.

  • Agri-Foresight was allocated $1.6 million and falls under all three phases of innovation phases and seven components that fall under these.
  • Agri-Science Clusters had funding of $14.5 million and falls under both the Discovery and Pre-Commercialization Phases. This program spans over three components of these phases, specifically Applied Research, Prototype Development, and Demonstration Full Scale.
  • Developing Innovative Agri-Products had funding of $18 million and falls under the Pre-Commercialization Phase and spans over three components of these phases, specifically Applied Research, Prototype Development, and Demonstration Full Scale.
  • Promoting Agri-Based Investment Opportunities had funding of $849,000 and also falls under the Pre-Commercialization Phase and spans all four components associated with this phase, including Applied Research, Prototype Development, Demonstration Full Scale, and Market Ready Product Development
  • The Agri-Processing Initiative had funding of $13.1 million and falls under the Pre-Commercialization and Commercialization phases of the continuum and spans the Market Ready Product Development, Market Ready and Market Development components.
  • Agri-Opportunities had funding of $34.7 million and falls under the Pre-Commercialization and Commercialization and its objectives can fund activities that span over six of components including Applied Research, Prototype Development, Demonstration Full Scale, Market Ready Product Development, Market Ready and Market Development components. Most of the funding for Agri-Opportunities however falls under Market Ready and Market Development components.
  • The ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative had funding of $40.9 million and falls under the Commercialization Phase and the Market Ready and Market Development components.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program had funding of $36.7 million and falls under the Pre-Commercialization and Commercialization phases. This program's objectives can fund activities that span over four components including Prototype Development, Demonstration Full Scale, Market Ready Product Development, and Market Ready components. Most of the funding for the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program falls under the first three of these components.
  • The Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program had funding of $34.2 million and falls under all three phases of AAFC's innovation continuum and spans over the first six components that fall under these phases, excluding Market Development. While the objectives of Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program can fund all these components of the innovation continuum, funding is focuses largely on Applied Research and Prototype Development.
  • AAFC Research Branch, including In-House science research and development and other activities, had funding of $160.72 million and its activities span all three phases and all components of AAFC's innovation continuum. Funding is however largely spent on Basic Research and Applied Research.
  • AAFC Regulatory Activities can include activities associated with Foresight, Enabling Environment and Facilitation initiatives and had funding of $24.6 million and span the Discovery and Pre-Commercialization phases of the innovation continuum and the five components associated with these phases.

Footnotes

Footnote 4

Determined by the intradepartmental Working Group for the Meta-Evaluation of Innovation.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

The total budget for Agri-Marketing in 2010/11 was $23.85M. Agri-Marketing officials indicated that approximately $2M is to support small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and $500,000 for marketing of innovative products. Officials also noted that national associations access these funds for generic marketing activities on behalf of the entire sector and the Program does not make a distinction between innovative and non-innovative products. The $500,000 to market innovative products is being used as part of the generic association funding and to top-up SME funding above the $2M and therefore Agri-Marketing has not been included in Table 1.

Return to footnote 5 referrer