Step 3. Before you apply
Intake period: Open
Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until the end of the program on March 31, 2028, or until funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced here.
All projects must be completed by March 31, 2028.
Review and consider the following information before you apply.
Applications under the program will not be processed on a first come, first served basis. The program may give priority to projects that fall within the program's priority areas. The program will try to make funding decisions under the published departmental service standards.
Project summary forms or project application forms may be processed either on a fixed date basis or through an open system without a fixed deadline. Merit criteria may be used to establish a priority ranking of eligible projects, where appropriate. Where it is deemed necessary, outside experts may be asked to help assess any aspect of a project or applicant.
The priority of the program is to invest in technologies and processes that are new to and strengthen the Canadian agricultural and agri-food innovation ecosystem and provide competitiveness and sustainability benefits.
Priority areas of focus include but not limited to:
- advanced manufacturing
Projects that incorporate more than one program priority area will be given greater consideration.
A higher priority will be placed on projects that commercialize or demonstrate innovative technologies and processes that result in products or services that enable the competitiveness and sustainability of other agri-based organizations.
A lower priority will be placed on projects that involve adoption of innovative technologies and processes where benefits accrue primarily to the applicant.
Other priorities include but are not limited to:
- assisting in building sector capacity and contributing to sustainable growth through value added agri-food and agri-products or services
- increasing demand for Canadian primary and secondary agriculture and/or agri-based inputs
- helping secure or expand new domestic or export markets
- increasing participation of and funding to under-represented groups including Indigenous Peoples, Youth, Women, Visible minorities, Persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQI+ in the agriculture and agri-food sector innovation ecosystem
For more information on services to Indigenous applicants, you can reach out to the Indigenous Pathfinder Service by email at email@example.com or telephone: 1-866-367-8506.
Program objectives and departmental priorities
Applications that don't align with the range of priority areas may be assessed for lower Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) contributions, require higher industry contributions, or both.
Applications that align to a lesser degree with the priorities will be viewed as lower importance and may not be considered for funding.
How we assess your application
Your application will be assessed against the following criteria, as applicable. The program will determine if you must demonstrate other criteria.
- Alignment with program objectives and priorities
- The degree to which the project and applicant drive significant innovation that contributes to the development and expansion or diversification of the agricultural and agri-food innovation ecosystem, provides broad Canadian agricultural or agri-food sector market benefits and contributes to the program priorities
- The technical feasibility
- Provide evidence to demonstrate that the innovation has been tested and is ready for the next stage of commercial development
- The degree to which modifications must mitigate any technical risks being addressed
- Project activities are scientifically sound (inclusive of Indigenous new and traditional scientific knowledge and methods), relevant, and feasible
- Timelines are realistic to achieve planned results
- Your capability
- The extent to which you possess or have access to the necessary technical, financial and managerial capacities and track record needed to complete the project on time and budget
- The funding for the project has been secured and the extent to which you have the capacity to cover any financial shortfalls related to the project including funding other operational activities or growth activities
- Your capacity to repay a repayable contribution (as applicable)
- Proposal is market oriented
- Demonstrate a market need and demand for the innovation and, if applicable, a product or service linked to the innovation, both domestically and internationally
- Demonstrate a potential increased demand for primary and secondary agriculture and agri-based inputs, increased revenues, and job creation
The maximum level of total government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal funding) normally cannot exceed 75% of eligible costs per project.
For Indigenous and under-represented applicants, the maximum amount permitted from Canadian governments combined (including municipal, provincial and territorial) is 100% of eligible costs.
Where necessary, to encourage action, up to 100% of the total government funding can be provided to Indigenous or other under-represented recipients.
Repayment of repayable contributions
Repayable contributions will be repaid over a period of up to 10 years following project completion. The amount to be repaid and repayment schedule will be set out in the contribution agreement and will normally begin 1 year following the completion of the project.
Interest is not charged on the contribution funding, with the exception of late payments and debts owed to the Crown, should such situations arise.
M-30 Act (Quebec organizations 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Quebec-based organizations will have to address this matter and demonstrate their compliance with the act during the application assessment process, and prior to entering into a contribution agreement.
The contribution agreement will contain an intellectual property clause which will confirm 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 in a third party, as may be negotiated by the recipient.