AgriScience Program – Clusters: Step 3. Before you apply

Step 3. Before you apply

Review and consider the following information before you apply.

Sources of funding

In your application, you must clearly show all sources of funding for the project, including your contribution and other industry and/or sources of funding including:

  • other federal government departmentsEndnote 1
  • provincial/territorial governmentsEndnote 1
  • municipal governmentEndnote 1
  • industry and/or partners such as:
    • industry associations and networks
    • businesses
    • academia

Cluster assessment process

The application process is competitive and the application assessment will consider 3 main components:

  • The science
  • The program's funding principles
  • Your organizational capacity

First, all proposals will be reviewed to make sure that the activities include sound scientific methodologies and principles. This assessment will examine the following criteria:

  • Relevance, risk, feasibility and impact of the research on the sector
  • Research methodology and experimental design
  • Peer reviews provided for each activity and activities amended to reflect the reviewers' feedback
  • Timelines are realistic to achieve planned results
  • Science capacity, that the proposed science team possess or has access to the necessary qualifications, mix of disciplines, and track record to successfully complete the proposed activities
  • Proven capacity/capability of intellectual property (IP) management where applicable

Also, where proposed activities are a continuation of work supported under a previous AgriScience Cluster application, you 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.

We will also examine Cluster proposals based on their alignment with the following program funding principles:

  • Strategic value to Canada
    • Combined research activities represent a cohesive strategy for the sector, which contributes to the vision and priorities of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, including a clear articulation of how the proposed research activities will advance the sector in each of the program's three priority areas to benefit Canada.
  • Whole value chain approach
    • Proposed research activities are expected to generate benefits along the value chain (which may include inputs and service providers, primary producers, food and beverage processors, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, and food service providers).
  • Results-based
    • The proposal describes expected measurable impacts including details of estimated economic, environmental and social benefits. Proposed activities demonstrate a range of calculated risk, benefits and impacts.
  • Knowledge transfer and adoption
    • The proposed activities include appropriate knowledge transfer components to disseminate and encourage uptake of results and ensure that all stakeholders can benefit from the outcomes.
  • Collaboration, partnerships, diversity and inclusion
    • Partnerships include researchers, academia, producers, industry groups, NGO's, private industry and others as applicable. Efforts have been made to increase the diversity of participation in and beneficiaries of the proposed research, including underrepresented and marginalized groups such as visible minorities, women, youth and Indigenous applicants.

Finally, each proposal is assessed to confirm that you have the requisite technical, financial and managerial capacity to manage the Cluster research activities.

Priority for funding and support will be directed toward Clusters proposals and/or activities that meet or exceed the expectations outlined in these program principles and assessment criteria. If a proposal does not meet or exceed these expectations, you may be directed to:

  • seek support from other funders where appropriate
  • remove certain proposed activities within Cluster proposals
  • submit some or all of the proposed Cluster activities as a project application
  • shift to Projects if your Cluster application fails to meet the minimum investment requirements for activities that focus primarily on climate change and environment, including GHG emissions reduction or carbon sequestration
  • increase the industry contribution


Unpaid debts to the Government of Canada

If you receive AAFC funds from the program, you must declare any amounts owing to the Government of Canada. Any amounts due to the recipient under AAFC programs may be set off against any such amounts owing to the Government of Canada under any agreement or any legislation with the Government of Canada.

Lobbying activities

You must ensure that a person lobbying on your behalf is registered and in compliance with the Lobbying Act. More information on the obligations in the Lobbying Act can be found at the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.

Conflict of interest

Current or former public servants or public office holders are required to avoid conflict of interest situations while employed by the federal government, and for a period of time following their service. The Applicant acknowledges that any individuals who are subject to the provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, any applicable federal values and ethics code or any applicable federal policy on conflict of interest and post-employment shall not derive any direct benefit resulting from this application unless the provision or receipt of such benefit is permitted in such legislation, policy or codes.

Consent for use, disclosure and copyright

Personal information will be treated and disclosed in accordance with the Privacy Act. You have the right to access your 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 Director at

For more information about AAFC's privacy practices, you may refer to the following Personal Information Banks: Public Communications PSU 914 and Outreach Activities PSU 938.

Business information will be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of the Access to Information Act.

Information on the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act is available at Justice Canada. For further information about these Acts please contact the Access to Information and Privacy Director at

Copyright permission

AAFC may disclose, reproduce and distribute any part of or the whole of the documentation provided in or with the application form, within AAFC and to its authorized third-parties, including other government departments, for purposes consistent with the receipt, assessment and subsequent treatment of the Application.

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

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.

Intellectual property

Where applicable, intellectual property (IP) management will be included in agreements. For questions related to IP please reach out to program staff for help.

Should your funding proposal be approved, specific IP requirements relevant to the Cluster project(s)/activities will be included in the contribution agreement and/or Collaborative Research and Development Agreement.

Intellectual property means all patents, trademarks, industrial designs, trade-names, copyright, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights, whether registered or not, and all confidential information and technical information, including know-how, show-how, inventions, processes, products, formulae, designs, records, and all bacterial, viral, plant, human or animal material that has new genetic or other characteristics.