Agricultural Clean Technology Program: Adoption Stream: Applicant guide

Applicant guide

Important notice

Due to high demand, as of August 1, 2021 the Agricultural Clean Technology Program – Adoption Stream will continue to accept Project Summary Forms but only for funding activities starting as of April 1, 2022. The Project Summary Forms will be kept on file and reviewed at a later date following the commitment of funds up to March 31, 2022.

The program has received hundreds of Project Summary Forms and completed applications. Due to the high demand, processing times are currently longer than the published service standards.

Purpose of this guide

This guide will:

  • help you determine if you are eligible for contribution funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) under the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program: Adoption Stream
  • provide applicants with instructions and guidelines to complete the Project Summary form and the Project Application form

Please read this guide before submitting a Project Summary form.

AAFC and the Government of Canada are under no obligation to approve proposed projects.

1.0 About the Agricultural Clean Technology Program

As part of the Government of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the new ACT program aims to create an enabling environment for the development and adoption of clean technology that will help drive the changes required to achieve a low-carbon economy and promote sustainable growth in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector. The program is divided into 2 streams:

Research and Innovation Stream
Supports pre-market innovation, including research, development, demonstration and commercialization activities
Adoption Stream
Supports adoption of commercially available clean technologies and processes with a priority given to those that show evidence of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and other environmental co-benefits

Program funding for the Adoption Stream is up to $100 million over 5 years, with projects ending March 31, 2026.

1.1 The Adoption Stream

The Adoption Stream will support the purchase and installation of proven clean technologies and solutions (as shown in the Innovation Continuum chart below) that address the 3 priority areas (see Section 1.2), reduce GHG emissions, and respond to environmental sustainability.

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Innovation Continuum

The innovation continuum begins with the pre-market activities of basic and applied research, development and demonstration; followed by the commercialization of new technology, including scale up activities; which are all supported under the Research and Innovation Stream. The continuum ends with technology adoption (purchasing and installation) which is supported by the Adoption Stream.

1.2 Program priorities

The Adoption Stream will provide non-repayable contributions to support the adoption of clean technology by Canadian farmers and processors, to meaningfully reduce GHG emissions. The program will prioritize investments that show promise to generate measurable GHG emissions reductions in line with the Government of Canada targets. These on-farm and agri-food sector investments may include proven technologies, including proven technology upgrades that reduce GHG emissions. The program will further prioritize projects through 3 priority areas:

  • Green energy and energy efficiency, including better management of energy intensive processes and technologies. For example:
    • purchase and installation of new and upgraded grain dryers (including commercial dryers) and barn heating
    • adoption of technologies to power farms with clean energy (for example, fuel switching)
  • Precision agriculture, including management strategies that gather, process, and analyze data; and decision support tools and technologies that improve real time input use and nutrient management
  • Bioeconomy, including technologies that use agricultural waste and by-products for energy and bio-product generation

1.3 Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants are:

  • for-profit organizations, including farm businesses and agri-food processors
  • not-for-profit organizations, including co-operatives
  • individuals, sole proprietors
  • Indigenous groups

Eligible applicants must be individuals (legal entities) capable of entering into legally binding agreements. All eligible applicants must be Canadian entities (incorporated in Canada).

Note: Ineligible applicants include:

  • financial institutions
  • Crown corporations
  • federal government departments and agencies
  • foreign governments

1.4 Eligible activities

Examples of eligible activities under the Adoption Stream include, but are not limited to, on-farm and agri-food sector investments in the adoption of:

  • energy efficiency improvements that enable better management of energy intensive agricultural processes, including the purchase and installation of:
    • energy-efficient, low-emissions equipment (for example, commercial grain dryers) where an efficiency gain can be demonstrated
    • technologies to power farms with clean energy (for example, fuel switching, such as conversion from diesel)
    • energy-efficient watering systems for livestock and irrigation systems
    • energy-efficient heating systems for functional on-farm structures like barns
    • heat pumps and frequency converters
    • solar panels and solar-powered technology, including for ventilation, farm equipment, sensors, etc.
  • precision agriculture that contributes to more precise, and therefore reduced input use, including the purchase and installation of:
    • nutrient management technologies that optimize fertilizer application (that is, rate and placement) and other inputs including variable rate application technologies and GPS auto-steer guidance systems
    • technologies and systems to collect and analyze data that enable reduced input use, including soil sensors, yield monitors, remote imagery and related geographic information systems technologies
    • technologies that enable feed grain processing for improved digestibility and reduced enteric fermentation, such as steam flaking
  • bioeconomy solutions that use agricultural waste and by-products to generate energy or create bio-products, including:
    • purchase and installation of technologies and equipment to support improved manure management and processing waste into bioenergy products and other useful outputs, including:
      • Anaerobic digesters for processing agricultural waste into bioenergy
      • Bio-product boiler systems for heating greenhouses and nurseries
    • implementing solutions that use agri-based products, such as bioplastics
  • other priorities and activities that support the objective of the Adoption Stream

1.5 Funding and cost-sharing

Contributions under the Adoption Stream will be non-repayable.

Funding by project

The Adoption Stream will focus its support on projects valued at $50,000 or more of total eligible project costs.

The maximum amount payable to a recipient will generally not exceed $2 million per project.

Funding by recipient

The maximum amount payable to a recipient with multiple projects will generally not exceed $5 million.

Cost-sharing

Eligible project costs will normally be shared as follows:

Adoption Stream (For-profit)

  • A maximum contribution of 50% from the program
  • A minimum contribution of 50% from the applicant

Adoption Stream (Not-for-profit)

  • A maximum contribution of 75% from the program
  • A minimum contribution of 25% from the applicant

The program may provide a more favourable cost-share ratio (60:40) where the majority of the business (more than 50%) is owned or led by one or more under-represented groups. Under-represented groups include:

  • Women
  • Youth, aged 35 or under
  • Indigenous groups
  • Visible minorities
  • Persons with disabilities

Stacking provisions

The maximum level of total government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal funding) will generally not exceed 75% of eligible costs per project.

Applications must clearly indicate all sources of project funding, including the applicant’s contribution and other partners’ sources of funding. These may include:

  • other federal government departments
  • provincial/territorial/municipal governments
  • industry (partners), such as:
    • industry associations and networks
    • businesses
    • academic institutions
    • Indigenous groups

Example: A project with total eligible costs of $500,000 could be broken down as follows:

Government funding sources
Government funding sources Amount of funding ($) % of total funding
AAFC requested funding 250,000 50
Provincial government 125,000 25
Total funding 375,000 75
Applicant funding sources
Applicant funding sources Amount of funding ($) % of total funding
Applicant 90,000 18
Industry association 35,000 7
Total funding 125,000 25

Eligible costs

The program may allow for eligible costs to be incurred from the date of the submission of a completed application. Any costs incurred prior to the signing of a Contribution Agreement will be incurred solely at the applicant’s risk without any obligation of payment by the program.

Payments for eligible project costs will only be made once a Contribution Agreement is signed and costs incurred after the project completion date will not be eligible for funding.

Eligible costs under the program are the incremental, relevant, reasonable and essential expenses required to carry out the eligible activities to which they relate as specifically set out in the Contribution Agreement.

See Annex A: Cost categories for a list of eligible and ineligible costs under the Adoption Stream.

1.6 Application process

There is a 2 step application process to the Adoption Stream:

1. Complete a Project Summary form

PDF forms

If you have problems opening a PDF form in your Internet browser, you need to:

  • Use your computer. The forms may not open on mobile devices (iPads, tablets, mobile phones).
  • Make sure you have Adobe Reader 11 (or higher) already installed on your computer. If not, download Adobe Reader 11 or higher for free. Adobe has help for solving common issues.
  • You must save the file on your computer in a place you can remember.
  • Open the file on your computer using Adobe Reader 11 or higher.
  • If you can’t open the form with Adobe Reader 11 or higher, contact the program.
How to download and open a PDF form
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System computers using “Internet Explorer” or “Microsoft Edge” as your browser
    1. Right-click on the link you want to save
    2. Select “Save target as” or “Save link as”
    3. Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file
    4. Select “Save”
    5. Open Adobe Reader 11 or higher
    6. Select “File”
    7. Select “Open”
    8. Go to the location where you saved the file
    9. Select the PDF file
    10. Select “Open”
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System or Apple computers using “Chrome” or Firefox” as your browser
    1. Right-click on the link you want to save
    2. When the option menu appears, choose "Download link file" or "Download link file as"
    3. Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file. Your computer will start the download once you have selected a location.
    4. Open Adobe Reader 11 or higher
    5. Go to the location where you saved the file
    6. Select the PDF file
    7. Select “Open”

The Project Summary form (PDF) will help applicants determine the project’s eligibility and alignment with the program’s criteria and priorities, prior to preparing a project application package. This initial step will also facilitate a discussion between the applicant and program staff about the project.

The Project Summary form (PDF) will be accepted by email at aafc.act-a-tpa-a.aac@agr.gc.ca, starting June 2021, on a continuous basis until funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced by the program.

2. Complete a project application package

Following the submission of a Project Summary form, you may be invited to submit a Project Application form.

For information on completing the Project Application form, refer to Annex B: Application Process.

2.0 Expected results and reporting

Applicants will be required to provide project-related financial, progress, and performance reports, or other reports requested at AAFC's discretion. The reports will track progress to advance agricultural clean technologies against mutually agreed performance measures and deliverables, such as the:

  • reduction of GHG emissions
  • number of clean technologies adopted by the agriculture and agri-food sector

The frequency of these reports will be determined based on the risk level of the recipient and the project. Requirements for performance indicators and reports will be detailed in the Contribution Agreement.

3.0 Assessment criteria

Over the course of the 2 step application process, your project(s) will be assessed against the following criteria, as applicable:

  • the proposed activities, including expected results and outcomes, support program objectives and priorities
  • supporting information on reduction of GHG emissions and other environmental co-benefits that can be demonstrated and measured
  • the proposed activities and expenditures are eligible, reasonable and required to meet the project objectives
  • the applicant possesses or has access to the qualifications (such as capability/capacity including the necessary technical, financial and managerial capacities) and track record required to complete the project
  • all sources of funding for the project are identified
  • ability to provide information on outcomes
  • other priority areas addressed

4.0 Other considerations

4.1 M-30 Act (Quebec only)

The Province of Quebec’s M-30 legislation may apply to Quebec-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 dpci@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca.

M-30 applies to various types of Quebec organizations, for example, organizations located in Quebec and receiving more than half of their financing from the Government of Quebec 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 under the Adoption Stream.

4.2 Intellectual property

The Contribution Agreement will contain an intellectual property clause stipulating that all title to the intellectual property in any materials created or developed by or for the recipient of contribution funding will vest in the recipient or a third party, as may be negotiated by the recipient. In addition, AAFC will include a provision in the funding agreement requiring the recipient or third parties to grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to the Crown to such material, in whole or in part, in any form or medium, for program administrative purposes and for any public purposes, except commercial exploitation.

4.3 Official languages

When it is determined that projects under this program involve activities related to the development and transfer of knowledge and may have an impact on official language minority communities (OLMCs), or promote the use of English and French, AAFC will include appropriate linguistic commitments in agreements with the recipient and ensure that additional expenses incurred as a result of these commitments are considered eligible for contribution funding.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

Communications to official language minority communities

  • project web pages, project social media account(s), and materials (brochures, kits, handouts, newsletters, reports, etc.) produced and maintained in both official languages
  • directional and educational signs produced in both official languages
  • project-related advertisement in OLMC media (newspapers, radio, social media)
  • bilingual coordinator or other contractor hired to help deliver project-related activities in both official languages (such as master of ceremony for a project event, workshop facilitator or simultaneous translator)
  • distribution of invitations in both official languages

Outreach to official language minority communities

  • one or more OLMCs are included in the project target groups (such as cash partners in project budget or to be invited to project events)
  • other groups representing OLMCs are consulted to see if there is any potential for involvement on their end
  • travel to or from OLMCs (costs associated with these project activities included in project budget)

If funded, recipients may be required to publicly acknowledge AAFC's support for the project. In these cases, AAFC will request that such acknowledgments include text in both official languages.

4.4 Public announcements

Applicants consent to public announcements regarding the project. These announcements would include recipients’ names, general descriptions of the work undertaken and approximations of the reduction in GHG emissions.

5.0 After you apply

Once a project application package has been submitted for consideration, the program's goal is to:

  • acknowledge receipt of an application within 2 to 5 business days
  • verify that all required forms and declarations have been completed with sufficient detail
  • identify incomplete applications and provide 30 business days to the applicants to submit the missing information before the application is closed
  • assess an application and send an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 business days of receiving a complete application package

Should your application be approved, you will be invited to enter into a Contribution Agreement with AAFC.

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 AAFC 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 Applicant guide will ultimately receive funding.

6.0 Contact information

For more information on the Adoption Stream, please contact the program at:

Email: aafc.act-a-tpa-a.aac@agr.gc.ca
Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600