AgriScience Program – Projects: Step 2. Eligibility

Step 2. Eligibility

Check if you meet the criteria to apply.

Eligibility checklist

You must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible.

  • Types of eligible for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
    • for-profit organizations, including communes
    • not-for-profit organizations, including associations, clubs, co-operatives, societies and sector councils
    • Indigenous individuals and organizations

    Academic institutions cannot apply directly for funding under this program; however, you are encouraged to collaborate with industry partners to develop a collaborative project application.

Program priorities and eligible activities

On the innovation continuum, activities range from applied research and development to technology and knowledge transfer.

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Long Description - Innovation Continuum

The AgriScience Program helps you move your activities from Discovery Science to Near Market:

  1. Research (knowledge creation)
  2. Development (pre-commercialization/pre adoption/technology transfer phrase)
  3. Technology transfer (commercialization/adoption phase)

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada created Technology readiness levels to help you find government funding under the program. The program typically includes eligible activities from levels 4 to 7, essentially taking you from proof of concept to prototype on the Innovation Continuum.

The program consists of 3 priority areas. Research activities must align with at least one of these priority areas:

  • Climate change and environment
    • Research that addresses climate change and environmental sustainability to help the sector contribute to the Government of Canada's 2030 and 2050 emissions targets.
    • Activities in this area can focus on greenhouse gas emissions reduction or carbon sequestration, climate change adaption, soil health, water quality, air quality, biodiversity, and plastics.
  • Economic growth and development
    • Research that supports economic growth by creating conditions for Canadian businesses to meet evolving challenges of the interconnected domestic and global marketplace.
    • Activities in this area can focus on developing emerging technologies that address issues such as labour challenges, increasing productivity, improving input use efficiency, supporting alternative production systems and increasing value-added domestic and export sales of agriculture, food and agri-based industrial products.
  • Sector resilience and societal challenges
    • Research that enhances resiliency to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to risks, and build public trust.
    • Activities in this area can focus on antimicrobial resistance, animal health and welfare, plant health, food security, biological alternatives to chemical inputs and the use of artificial intelligence and big data in agriculture.

Proposals will be expected to include activities which address environmental issues. Unlike AgriScience Clusters Component, there will not be a minimum target for these expenditures; however, proposals with no or limited environmental research investment will be deemed a low priority.

Eligible areas of research

The areas of research identified below are subject to specific AAFC guidance.

Health claims and human clinical trials

A food health claim is any label or advertisement that suggests a relationship between a food or an ingredient and a person's health.

AAFC will only consider funding research projects that include human clinical trials used to support disease risk reduction and therapeutic health claims for which stakeholders will seek to obtain a Health Canada pre-market approval or recognition of the validity of the health claim.

In assessing project proposals, AAFC (and Health Canada, where appropriate) will evaluate that you have demonstrated a body of evidence that is broadly supportive of the claim and that the literature review and human clinical trial design and proposed conduct are deemed to be methodologically robust enough to meet Health Canada standards.

Variety development

Variety development is an eligible activity under the program where the research aligns with at least one of the 3 priority areas. However, AAFC will prioritize activities focused on early stage development work, which is typically characterized by the development of new traits, and involves genome development and plant breeding.

Later stage work continues to be eligible but will be of lower priority. Later stage work is typically characterized by the incremental development of traits, and often includes the delivery of finished varieties over the project duration.

Pest and disease surveillance

Activities related to pest and disease surveillance will only be considered eligible if they are required as part of a broader research activity. Regular and routine monitoring for pests and diseases are not eligible activities. You must clearly explain how any surveillance and monitoring data captured is novel and supports the desired impact of the research activity.

Indigenous knowledge and science priorities

Activities in support of Indigenous groups (First Nation, Métis or Inuit) to conduct research and share new and traditional scientific knowledge will be considered eligible. AAFC will support Indigenous knowledge systems and scientists in a wide range of research areas, including:

  • livestock and crop management systems and techniques
  • management of agricultural ecosystems, including permaculture, food forests and companion planting
  • traditional harvesting of crops and livestock
  • knowledge of cultivation and stewardship techniques locally adapted to ecosystems

Indigenous applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to the Indigenous Services Liaison Office at before submitting a project summary form.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs are project expenses, claimed or contributed, that fall within the set program cost categories and respect all program limitations. To be considered eligible, costs must:

  • be included in the project application form budget
  • be related to the activities included in the work plan
  • fall within the work plan activities timeframe

For more information and details on cost categories, eligible costs, limitations/instructions, refer to Cost categories.

Note: Costs you incur prior to AAFC approval or the project start date may not be reimbursed by AAFC, and you may be solely responsible for those expenditures

Expected results

The program requires reporting on impacts, which are the desired outcomes of projects and their individual activities within each of the 3 priority areas. Performance measures and indicators both quantitative and qualitative are means of demonstrating the desired impacts of projects and their proposed activities.

Building on program priorities, project activities are expected to produce results in addition to knowledge transfer impacts.

For more guidance on developing performance measures, templates for development, and preparing your performance information, refer to Performance measures.