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AgriScience Program – Projects: Applicant guide

Applicant guide – Projects

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Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  1. Help you determine if you may be eligible for funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the AgriScience Program – Projects Component.
  2. Provide you with directions and explanations to assist you in completing the project application form.

AgriScience Program – Projects Component: Project Summary Form

1.0 Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. In addition, producers will continue to have access to a robust suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs.

The partnership is in place since April 1, 2018.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership will focus on six priority areas:

The AgriScience Program is a program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

1.1 About the AgriScience Program

Program Objective

The AgriScience Program aims to accelerate the pace of innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.

Program components

The program provides support through two components, AgriScience Clusters (Clusters) and AgriScience Projects (Projects). This guide is designed for applicants submitting Project proposals. Information on Clusters is available in a separate guide.

Projects aim to support specific shorter-term research activities to help industry overcome challenges and address fiscal barriers experienced by small and emerging sectors. They also seek to mitigate high risk opportunities that have the potential to yield significant returns. On the innovation continuum, project activities range from applied research and development to technology and knowledge transfer.

Description of this image follows.
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Flowchart showing the innovation continuum from Applied Research, which is Upstream (Discovery Science) on the left side of the image to Development and Demonstration and finally to Technology and Knowledge Transfer, which is Downstream (Near Market) on the right side of the image. The further downstream the project progresses the more Partner-led Research is involved with the project. The more Discovery Science (Upstream) the project is, the more AAFC-led Research is involved.

A table provides two AAFC-led research examples:

  1. Gene discovery and gene editing to identify source of resistance to diseases, pests, drought, etc.
  2. Analysing soil processes to improve water use efficiency

A table provides two Partner-led research examples:

  1. Developing varieties for producers to grow better mustard, wheat, canola, etc.
  2. Effect of management practices on wine quality

At the bottom of the flowchart is a line with arrows on each end showing that Projects range between Applied Research and Technology and Knowledge Transfer, with more Partner-Led, rather than AAFC-Led research.

1.2 Eligible applicants

The following organization types are eligible under this program component:

Note: Eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

1.3 Funding and cost-sharing


Applicants may apply for:

  1. Non-repayable contribution funding (referred to as Vote 10 at AAFC) for activities conducted by industry;
  2. Collaborative research and development support (referred to as Vote 1 at AAFC) from AAFC scientists; or,
  3. Both (Vote 10 and Vote 1).

In all cases, successful applicants are required to enter into a legal agreement(s) with AAFC as indicated below:

Contribution funding (Vote 10)
AAFC will reimburse a portion of the costs for your Project. Note that contribution funding is not a grant. Successful applicants enter into a Contribution Agreement (CA) with AAFC that lists a number of reporting requirements, including reporting on costs that are eligible.

Collaborative research assistance (Vote 1)
AAFC Science and Technology Branch scientists can conduct research on your Project. Successful applicants are required to enter into a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) with AAFC. The CRDA outlines the deliverables, licensing options and payment schedule for the industry share of funding supporting the Project activities. The approved Vote 1 financial allocation is not paid to the applicant but provided within AAFC.

Both types of funding/assistance (Vote 10 and Vote 1)
Projects may contain activities/sub-projects that are completed by industry, or completed by AAFC personnel, or where they are closely linked, such as when AAFC personnel and entities outside AAFC (for example, the applicant or a university) work together. In this case, the successful applicant would enter into a CA and a CRDA.

Maximum AAFC funding amounts
(Combined Contribution funding and Collaborative research assistance)

The maximum AAFC funding amount for a Project will be less than $5 million over five-years.

If you have multiple approved Projects/Clusters within this program, total AAFC funding cannot exceed $10 million per year.

Cost sharing

Eligible project costs will normally be shared between AAFC and you as follows:

As demand for the program is expected to be high, you are encouraged to seek out other sources of funding above the minimum applicant cost-share ratio.

You must clearly indicate all sources of funding for the project, including your contribution and other industry and/or partner sources of funding including:

In-kind may be considered as part of the applicant's cost-share (up to 10%) and, in exceptional cases, total government sources of funding should generally not exceed 85%. For more information, refer to Annex A: How to Apply.

Note that the cost share ratio applies to both Contribution funding and Collaborative research assistance; each agreement should be cost-shared at the same ratio where possible.

Eligible costs

All costs claimed under the program or contributed by industry and other sources for the Project and its activities, must fall within the program cost categories and respect all limitations. For more information and details on cost categories, eligible/ineligible costs and other limitations, refer to Annex B: Cost Categories.

1.4 Program priorities and eligible activities

Five (5) areas were identified to address key industry and government priorities through Project activities. Projects are expected to address at least one priority. Program priorities and examples of eligible activities are:

For clarity, the following activities are excluded from the above list and are ineligible:

1.5 Application deadlines

Applications for Projects are accepted since February 13, 2018, and will continue to be accepted until funding has been fully committed or until otherwise announced by the program. The program ends March 31, 2023.

For information on how to complete a full Project application, refer to Annex A: How to apply.

Note: AAFC is working to improve horizontal collaboration across government funding programs. As part of your application, in addition to the normal consents required, AAFC is requesting your consent to share a summary of your Project proposal with other federal, provincial and territorial governments.

2.0 Expected results

Building on program priorities, Project activities are normally anticipated to produce one or more of the following results.

Expected results, along with examples of potential outcomes, are:

3.0 Project assessment criteria

Based on experience from previous AAFC science funding programs, demand for the program is anticipated to be high. As a result, assessment criteria, principles and processes have been developed to help identify strong Projects and activities from among a range of proposals with distinct needs. The application assessment will have two main components

First, all proposals will be reviewed to ensure Project activities are scientifically sound. This assessment will examine:

In addition, where proposed activities are a continuation of work supported under previous science Projects, applications should demonstrate how the current proposal advances the science relative to the previous work. Evidence of progress toward the objective of the previously-funded research should be included in the proposal.

Once the proposals have undergone a science review, AAFC will conduct a principles-based review. The following principles will be used to guide assessments and funding decisions:

Finally, each proposal will be assessed on the technical, financial and managerial capacity of the applicant managing the Project research.

Priority for funding and support will be directed towards Project proposals and/or activities that meet or exceed the expectations outlined in these program principles and assessment criteria.

4.0 Reporting on your project

Should you be approved for funding, you will be required to report on finances, performance and results. These reports include:

Progress reports:

You will be required to provide progress reports describing the activities completed and progress made towards deliverables, as described in the Project Work Plan.

Performance reports:

You will also be required to provide performance reports annually and at the end of the project. The reports will track progress against mutually agreed to performance measures outlined in the CA and/or CRDA.

For more information, refer to Annex C: Performance measures.

Financial reports:

Financial reporting is required with each request for reimbursement of expenditures, in addition to year-end accounting and other financial reports such as reporting on expenditures incurred using the industry's contribution.

For more information, refer to Annex B: Cost categories.

Other reports may be required at AAFC's discretion.

5.0 Other considerations

5.1 M-30 Act (Quebec organizations only)

The Province of Quebec’s M-30 legislation may apply to Québec based applicants only. It is the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (R.S.Q., c. M-30).

More information on the Act is available online or by contacting the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (MAPAQ) at

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Québec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Québec may be subject to the Act.

All Quebec based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the Act during the project assessment process, and prior to entering into a contribution agreement.

5.2 Intellectual property

Should the funding proposal be approved, specific intellectual property requirements relevant to the Project will be included in the CA and/or CRDA.

6.0 After you apply

Once an application has been submitted, an acknowledgment notice will be forwarded to the applicant. Applicants should not consider their application as submitted to the program until they receive this acknowledgement notice; if it is not received within 2 business days, please contact us.

In order to begin the assessment, an application must be deemed complete by AAFC. After an application has been received, AAFC verifies that all required forms and declarations have been completed and there is sufficient detail in the application for a full assessment. When the application has been deemed complete and ready for assessment, notice will be provided to the applicant.

Subsequently, a full review and assessment of the application will be carried out by AAFC and, if an Applicant is successful, AAFC will provide a written decision letter which will outline the level of assistance awarded and any other conditions if applicable (for example, reduced funding or activities). Unsuccessful Applicants will be contacted by AAFC and will receive a rejection notification letter explaining the reasons for rejection.

Our goal is to:

As program demand fluctuates, these standards may be updated to provide more accurate timelines. Updates will be posted on the program website.

Please note that even if a project meets all eligibility criteria, the submission of an application creates no obligation on the part of the Minister or of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials to provide funding for the proposed project. The Minister retains discretion to determine, based on other public policy and public interest considerations, whether an application that meets the criteria identified in this Guide will ultimately receive funding.

7.0 Contact information

For more information on the AgriScience Program – Projects Component, please contact us by:

Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
AgriScience Program
1341 Baseline Road
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 223
Ottawa ON  K1A 0C5

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