Meta-Evaluation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Innovation Programs (3 of 9)
2.0 Program Profile
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-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
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.
Source: AAFC Corporate Management Branch, June 2011.
|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 ||$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.
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