Industry-led Research and Development Stream Applicant Guide


1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide you, the Applicant, with information about the AgriInnovation Program and its Industry-led Research and Development stream. In addition, this guide will assist you in completing and applying for funding under this stream.

2.0 Description of the AgriInnovation Program

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 $230 million will go towards Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Research, Development and Knowledge Transfer activities, as well as program administration that complement industry activities.

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 (ended 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 ended on March 31, 2013.

The Program will:

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

3.0 Industry-Led Research and Development Stream

3.1 Description

The Industry-led Research and Development stream supports pre-commercialization Research, Development and Knowledge Transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-based practices, processes and products.

As a general guideline, research, development and knowledge transfer may be described as follows:

Research - an original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge.

Development - The utilization of existing knowledge to generate new applications and solutions to respond to specific needs.

Knowledge Transfer - The translation and transfer of knowledge and technology to the sector. The intent is to increase the adoption of innovative technologies and practices aimed at improving competitiveness and sustainability of the sector. Examples of typical knowledge transfer outputs under this Stream include decision support tools and field days. AAFC assistance will not be provided for any direct marketing, business promotion or one-on-one extension types of activities.

Applicants under this stream may request:

All approved applicants will be required to enter into (a) legal agreement(s) with AAFC, that is, a Contribution Agreement (CA), a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA), or both. Approved Applicants who enter into a CA with AAFC will be referred to therein as recipients. Approved applicants who enter into a CRDA with AAFC will be referred to therein as collaborators.

Where the application requests both contribution funding and collaborative support, the activities forming the subject of the two agreements, although related, will differ.

The term "project", when used in this Guide without the "CA" or "CRDA" qualifier, refers to all the activities that make up the project, including those for which the applicant seeks funding and/or collaborative research and development support.

Two types of projects may qualify under this stream:

Agri-Science Cluster: These projects are intended to mobilize and coordinate a critical mass of scientific expertise in industry, academia and government. The Agri-science cluster is national in scope, industry-led, and addresses components of the sector’s applied science plan under a single application.

The Agri-Science cluster addresses several themes that are priorities to the industry, and requests support toward several research activities across the country. An Agri-science cluster may be commodity-based (related to a single commodity), or may be horizontal in nature (addresses cross-cutting issues of interest to more than one commodity).

Agri-Science Project: This type of project refers to a single Agri-science project or a smaller set of Agri-science projects that are less comprehensive than an Agri-science cluster. The scope may be national, regional or local.

3.2 Duration

The Industry-led Research and Development stream ends on March 31, 2018. It is strongly recommended that research activities related to a project be completed by January 31, 2018 to allow time for performance reporting by March 31, 2018.

3.3 Eligible Applicants

Eligible Applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

Eligible applicants for an Agri-science cluster include:

Eligible applicants for an Agri-science project include for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments or agencies, and universities and colleges are not eligible applicants.

3.4 Maximum Funding Amount

Agri-Science Cluster: Subject to the maximum program funding amount set out below, the maximum total of AAFC contribution funding and the value of AAFC collaborative support to an approved Agri-science cluster pursuant to a Contribution Agreement, a CRDA, or both, cannot exceed $20M from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018.

Agri-Science Project: The maximum total of AAFC contribution funding and the value of AAFC collaborative support to an approved Agri-science project pursuant to a Contribution Agreement, a CRDA, or both, cannot exceed $5M from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018.

Please note that the total maximum contribution funding to a recipient per year under the AgriInnovation Program (under either or both streams) cannot exceed $10M.

3.5 Cost Sharing

Eligible costs related to a project, as defined in Section 3.8 Eligible Costs, are to be shared between AAFC and the successful Applicant (and others where relevant, for example other industry supporters and other governments)

Where the successful Applicant is a not-for-profit organization that is a legal entity, AAFC may contribute up to 75% of the total eligible costs (AAFC may reserve the right to contribute only up to 50%). Where the successful Applicant is a for-profit organization that is a legal entity, AAFC may contribute up to 50% of the total eligible costs.

Please note that when a CA and a CRDA are provided to the same Applicant, this cost sharing ratio applies under each of the CA and the CRDA.

When including funds from other government sources to meet the Applicant’s share, the stacking limit must be respected. The stacking limit refers to the maximum level of total Canadian government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) a successful Applicant can receive towards the total eligible costs of a project.

The maximum level of total government funding will generally not exceed 75% of eligible costs per project.

3.5.1 Cash Contributions

Under a Contribution Agreement:

When eligible costs are resourced by an approved cash outlay, they would either be eligible for reimbursement by AAFC or be part of the Applicant’s contribution to the project.

For example, if a project requires specific human resources to undertake direct project activities and an Applicant devotes existing staff with the required skills to meet that requirement, then the cost of those resources is considered a cash outlay. These labour costs would either be considered eligible for reimbursement by AAFC or be part of the Applicant’s cash contribution to the project.

Under a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement:

If a CRDA project requires specific human resources to undertake direct project activities and a Collaborator devotes existing staff with the required skills to meet that requirement, then the cost of those resources may be considered as part of the Collaborator’s investment to the CRDA project. AAFC reserves the right to determine what would be accepted as resources provided in lieu of a monetary investment by the Collaborator.

3.5.2 In-kind Contributions

In-Kind valuation in the CA:

In-kind contributions are goods and services that are contributed to a project and that require no outlay of cash by the Applicant or industry supporter. In-kind contributions form part of the Applicant’s project share and therefore are not reimbursable by AAFC.

To be eligible, in-kind contributions:

In-Kind valuation in the CRDA:

In-kind contributions are goods and services that are invested in a CRDA project and that require no outlay of cash by the Collaborator, but to which a dollar value can be attributed and substantiated. In-kind resources can be valued as part of the Collaborator’s share of CRDA project costs, but cannot normally exceed 10% of those costs. AAFC reserves the right to determine what would be accepted as resources provided in lieu of a monetary investment by the Collaborator.

3.6 Application Intake

For an Agri-science cluster:

The application deadline was February 1, 2013 and the stream is not accepting Agri-Science Cluster applications at this time.

For an Agri-science project:

As of February 1, 2015, the Industry-Led R&D stream will use an open system where applications can be submitted for review at any point until available support to accepted projects has been fully allocated.

Once all available funding and support has been allocated to approved projects, a notice will be posted on the Industry-led Research and Development stream website to indicate that applications for Agri-science projects are no longer being accepted.

3.7 Eligible Activities

Eligible activities are of the following nature and type:

3.8 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are the costs directly related to the project that fall within the recognized cost categories and respect all conditions and limitations set out in this guide and the Contribution Agreement if the project is approved.

Eligible costs are categorized under standard cost categories for all funding projects. Eligible cost categories under the Industry-led Research and Development stream include:

Eligible costs must be presented, in the budget, under the standard categories for all funding projects, as identified in Annex B: Cost Categories.

An Applicant may use cash and/or in-kind contributions towards their percentage of contributions towards eligible costs (see section 3.5 Cost Sharing).

The program start date is April 1, 2013, and in no instance will any costs incurred prior to that date be eligible for reimbursement. Any costs incurred after the program end date March, 31, 2018, will not be eligible for reimbursement, or considered as an industry contribution toward the CA project or investment to CRDA project.

Note: AAFC may allow eligible costs to be incurred after a complete funding proposal has been received by the Program, but prior to the signing of a Contribution Agreement if AAFC deems this necessary for the achievement of objectives under the project and if such costs are reasonable and required to carry out the eligible activities to which they relate. Please note, however, that even if an Applicant is advised that their project is approved and the Applicant starts incurring costs, no costs can be reimbursed unless a Contribution Agreement is ultimately signed between the Applicant and AAFC. Thus, any costs incurred prior to the signing of a Contribution Agreement would be incurred solely at the applicant’s risk without obligation of payment by AAFC.

3.9 Ineligible Costs or Limitations

Ineligible project costs are, but not limited to, the following:

Note: Where an approved Applicant enters into a service contract with a University for eligible project activities and costs, AAFC will only consider as eligible the University overhead costs up to a maximum of 15% of the total eligible costs under the contract. Any amounts above 15% will not be considered as an eligible expense either for AAFC reimbursement or as part of the Applicant’s financial contribution under the CA.

4.0 How to Apply

Please note that the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of AAFC to provide funding or collaborative support for the proposed project. As an Applicant, you must ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria before submitting your application.

4.1 Online and Fax/Mail or Email

AAFC offers you the ability to apply online, simplifying the application process and making it faster and easier for your information to get to us. The Apply Online Project Application Form is a dynamic form, combining the Project Work Plan and Budget templates which are required for your application to be considered complete.

A complete online application package consists of a completed AAFC Online Project Application Form which includes the Project Work Plan and Budget, and such additional supporting documentation (listed in Section 4.1.3 Additional Requirements) required by the program to fully assess the project can be attached and submitted electronically.

For those applying by fax/mail or email, please see the contact information provided in section 7.0 Contact Information to obtain your Project Application Form, a Project Work Plan and Budget template along with the necessary instructions.

A complete hard copy application package consists of a completed AAFC Application Form, a Project Work Plan, a Budget, and such additional supporting documentation (listed in Section 4.1.3 Additional Requirements) required by the program to fully assess the project’s merit to be funded.

Below is an overview of what is expected in each component of the application.

Terminology for those applying for contribution funding and/or collaborative support for an Agri-science cluster: An Agri-science cluster would generally include many integrated research projects under several overarching themes. Applicants are therefore expected to describe the overarching themes and the projects which they are proposing under each theme.

The following is an explanation of the terminology for themes and projects to be used in your application package. This terminology will carry into your application form, work plans and budget:

Terminology for those applying for an Agri-science project:

You will then be asked to describe all the activities that make up the project, and this terminology will carry into your application form, work plan and budget. Please review the information below, which outlines the forms you need to submit and the additional information required for your application.

4.1.1 Work Plan

The Work Plan provides a description of all project activities and timelines, as well as overall project outcomes.

Applicants submitting an application package by email must complete a Project Work Plan template for the work being performed under a Contribution Agreement. If applicable, also complete a separate Work Plan for collaborative research and development activities to be performed under a CRDA with AAFC's personnel. Also ensure that you separate the work to be performed under the CA from the work to be performed under the CRDA.

Applicants using the online system will enter work plan descriptions separately for CA and CRDA activities in the Online Project Application Form.

NOTE: The first activity should always be "Project Management by the Recipient Organization". This should include information on overall Project Management, research coordination, financial management and performance reporting (and other aspects as deemed appropriate).

4.1.2 Budget

Applicants are encouraged to review the Annex B: Cost Categories for assistance with the categorization of costs within the Budget form.

For Project Costs set out in this Budget to be considered Eligible Costs they must fall within the recognized Annex B: Cost Categories and respect all conditions and limitations set out in this Program Applicant Guide, whether or not the Budget is approved by the Parties. For greater certainty, these Eligible Costs must also be reasonable, reflect Fair Market Value and be directly related to the project.

Applicants submitting an application package by email are required to use the Budget template to provide an estimate of costs they will incur for all proposed eligible CA project activities and CRDA project activities, along with an estimate of contributions towards CA activities as well as investment towards CRDA activities from all sources of funding.

The budget for online applicants is incorporated in the Online Project Application Form.

4.1.3 Additional Requirements

Applicants should submit the following information, where applicable, to support the completed Project Application Form, Work Plan and Budget (Note: the work plan and budget are part of the Online Project Application Form. For hard copy, email/fax applications, separate work plan and budget templates are required):

Confidentiality: It is the Applicant’s responsibility to clearly identify, on any documentation submitted to AAFC, the information that is considered commercially confidential. This information will not be disclosed unless required by law, including the Access to Information Act, or upon the express authorization of the applicant.

5.0 Assessment and Approval

5.1 Assessment Criteria

Your application must be complete in order to be fully assessed. Please review the application checklist and ensure that you have completed all forms and templates using the instructions from the Applicant Guide.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

If you are successful, AAFC will provide a written decision letter outlining the level of assistance awarded and any other conditions if applicable.

5.2 Contribution Agreement

Successful Applicants who enter into a Contribution Agreement (CA) with AAFC will be referred to therein as Recipients. Recipients are required to enter into a CA that outlines the amount of funding AAFC will provide to the Recipient toward eligible costs, as well as the Recipient’s responsibilities and obligations.

5.2.1 Payments to Recipients

AAFC will make payments based on claims submitted for eligible costs incurred and paid by the Recipient in accordance with the terms and conditions of the CA. Each claim must be supported by details of the costs being claimed and certified by an authorized official of the Recipient.

Advances may be made available based on AAFC’s assessment of the project risk (see Section 6.1 Risk Framework) and where need is substantiated.

5.3 Collaborative Research and Development Agreement

If an Applicant’s Project has been approved for a collaborative relationship involving AAFC personnel, the Applicant will be required to enter into a CRDA with AAFC. Successful Applicants will be referred to as the Collaborator in a CRDA. The CRDA will outline the responsibilities and obligations of both AAFC and the Collaborator with respect to the CRDA Project.

5.4 Reporting Requirements

Recipients will be required to provide progress reports using forms to be provided by AAFC, describing the activities completed and progress made towards deliverables, as described in the Project Work Plan (see section 4.1.1 Work Plan).

Recipients will also be required to provide performance reports annually and at the end of projects, using forms provided by AAFC. Those reports will track progress against project performance measures.

Financial reporting will be required with each request for reimbursement of expenditures, in addition to year-end accounting and other financial reports.

Other reports may be required at AAFC’s discretion.

Note: When completing your Budget form, please ensure that you have allowed sufficient resources to perform this function (see Section 4.1.2 Budget).

6.0 Notes

6.1 Risk Framework

Once a project is approved for contribution funding, AAFC will conduct a risk assessment to determine the overall risk level of the project.

The result (risk level) of this assessment does not determine eligibility for funding but will affect, among other things:

AAFC’s Contribution Agreement template has been designed to accommodate this framework and its results. A letter will accompany the CA to outline the requirements for the above.

6.2 Intellectual Property

By signing the application form you are allowing AAFC to reproduce and distribute the whole or any part(s) of your application for the purposes outlined in Section 6.6 Business Information.

Through the Industry-Led Research and Development stream, contribution funds may be paid to recipients. Title to the intellectual property developed by the recipient of contribution funding will vest in the recipient or, upon the Minister’s approval and subject to the conditions determined by the Minister, in a third party, as may be negotiated by the recipient and the third party.

However, AAFC will engage in program administration activities and in other follow-up activities. The department may require a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free and perpetual license or sub-license, as applicable, allowing AAFC to reproduce and to distribute by any means the whole or any part of documents generated by or for the recipient for these purposes. These documents may be shared within the department, within the Government of Canada, or with other governments.

Intellectual Property matters will be negotiated between AAFC and the collaborator prior to execution of a CRDA.

6.3 Retention and Disposition of Assets

The department will include terms in the CA to allow AAFC to direct that assets purchased with contribution funds or needed to meet the Recipient’s obligations under the CA be retained until the completion of the project or the repayment of AAFC contribution funding (if any). If the Recipient wishes to dispose of the assets beforehand, they will be disposed of in the manner that AAFC determines or to such person as AAFC authorizes. This means that if the Recipient wishes to dispose of assets that are purchased using contribution funds or needed to meet the Recipient’s obligations under the CA, the Recipient must send a request for authorization to do so to the Minister or his representative before disposition. The terms of the CA also allow AAFC to direct, at the completion of the Project, or upon an earlier termination of this Agreement the Recipient to keep, or to dispose of the capital assets acquired by the Recipient using the Minister’s Contribution. Note that AAFC will have no property ownership or security interests in any assets purchased with contribution funds.

Under the Industry-led Research and Development stream, this retention and disposal of assets requirement applies only to capital assets with a purchase price of C$25,000 or greater per individual item.

6.4 Official Languages

6.4.1 Language of Service

Applicants and Recipients are encouraged to communicate with AAFC in the official language of their choice. AAFC reviews and assesses applications and project deliverables in both official languages.

6.4.2 Language Obligations of Recipients

Depending on the nature of the program, the type of Recipient, and specific project activities to be undertaken, the Government of Canada may require the Recipient to make information available to and interact with the public in one or both official languages on terms and conditions to be specified in the Contribution Agreement.

In all cases the Recipient must publicly acknowledge AAFC’s support for the project and project-specific communications products. The department may request that such acknowledgment include text in both official languages. Contribution funding from the Industry-led Research and Development stream can be used to help cover the cost of conducting activities and communicating with the public in Canada’s official languages as long as the costs fall within the definition of eligible costs and are included within the project budget.

6.5 M-30 Law (for Quebec organizations only)

The Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (M-30) may apply to an applicant in the Province of Québec. Applicants will be required to complete an additional information form and, if they are subject to the requirements of the Act, to obtain written authorization and approval from the Government of Québec prior to execution of any contribution funding agreement.

6.6 Privacy Notice

Personal information provided in or with this application package will be used for assessment purposes regarding the application and is being collected under the authority of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act. The personal information will be protected in accordance with the Privacy Act and described in standard Personal Information Bank, Public Communications PSU 914.The Applicant has the right to access their personal information held by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and to request changes to correct personal information by contacting the AAFC Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator at ATIP-AIPRP@agr.gc.ca.

6.7 Business Information

AAFC may collect, use and share an Applicant’s information, which includes, but is not limited to, documentation prepared in the administration of the Industry-led Research and Development stream of the AgriInnovation Program. AAFC will use and share this information for the purposes of assessing and reviewing the eligibility of the Applicant and the proposed project with:

The information may be shared with the parties mentioned above, for purposes that include, but are not limited to:

AAFC publishes a list of approved projects on the departmental website and may publish such list on other Government of Canada websites. This list would include the name of the Recipient, the project name, and the amount of the Industry-led Research and Development stream’s contribution. AAFC may also publicize this information, along with a description of the project, in:

6.8 Environmental Considerations

All projects receiving funding or collaborative research support from AAFC must comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA2012). It is your responsibility to review whether your type of project is listed on the Regulations Designating Physical Activities and to contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Indicate in the "Project Description" section of the Application Form if your type of project is listed on the Regulations. Also indicate if the project’s activities are located on Federal Crown land (includes federal and Aboriginal reserve land), on private land or another type of land. If you do not know, indicate that this information is "unknown".

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will consider whether your project requires an environmental determination under section 67 of the CEAA2012 and take the necessary steps if a determination is required and may inform you accordingly.

Provide details on any environmental risks in the "Risk Assessment" section in the Application Form, which includes confirming whether you have or will obtain federal, provincial, territorial or municipal authorizations and permits. AAFC reserves the right to request additional information.

7.0 Contact Information

For further information please contact us toll-free at 1-877-246-4682, or by e-mail at AIP-PAI@agr.gc.ca.
Applications can be mailed to the following address:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgriInnovation Program
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 130
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5

Annex A: Consent to Disclose Personal and/or Business Information

See the Consent to Disclose Personal and/or Business Information form

Annex B: Cost Categories

Administration
Administration costs necessary to complete the project, such as:
  • Office supplies and materials
  • Office space
  • Telecommunications/Audiovisual
  • Postage and freight
Salaries/Benefits
Salaries and benefits directly related to completing the activities of the project.
Contracted Services
Professional or specialized services for which a contract is entered into, such as:
  • inspection
  • consultant/expert services
  • installation/construction
  • financial auditing (required for the project)
  • environmental assessment
  • project management
  • research
Travel
Travel costs related to the project, such as:
  • meals
  • incidentals
  • accommodations
  • transportation
  • hospitality (where eligible)
Capital / Assets
Capital Assets are tangible assets that are purchased, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired and:
  • Are required for the execution of the project;
  • Have a useful life extending beyond one fiscal year and are intended to be used on a continuing basis; and
  • Are not intended for resale during the life of the project.
Costs such as:
  • equipment
  • computers
  • buildings
Other Direct Project Costs
Other costs for project-related deliverables such as:
  • shipping
  • printing
  • conference fees/registration fees
  • consumable materials
  • construction material costs
  • translation
  • marketing costs related to production of materials/documents/marketing plans

Annex C: Copyright Permission

See the Copyright Permission form

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