Licensing opportunities – agriculture

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) grants licenses to organizations that wish to commercialize our inventions.

AAFC currently holds about 600 licenses with over 200 companies. For example, we grant sole rights to seed companies to market crop varieties developed by our plant breeders. Other intellectual property such as patents or copyrights developed by AAFC researchers can also be licensed to interested parties.

As 'Licensor', AAFC grants permission to the 'Licensee' to use the licensed property. A potential licensee will be asked to submit a plan for developing and marketing the technology. All business plans are kept confidential.

Some licensing opportunities are competitive and time-sensitive. We use the Request for Proposals process to identify technologies that are available for a specific time only. Terms may include commercial exclusivity. If a license is not executed from the Request for Proposals, the technology may continue to be available as a generally available technology.

Technologies may also be made available on a non-exclusive basis; such licensing opportunities are included with generally available technologies.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is licensed to post its latest technologies on ExploreIP, an online platform for marketing and licensing the outcomes of research. Most of the technologies listed below are described in greater detail on the ExploreIP page.

Select the title to access the ExploreIP posting, which includes the following information:

  • Full description of the technology, including process and product
  • Patent information, if applicable
  • Potential applications, including market, limitations, third-party rights
  • Business opportunity available
  • Contact Information

For further information, please contact the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization at

Notice of request for proposals

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) would like to thank the companies that submitted proposals for each innovation and technologies.

Based upon the proposal received our evaluation committee has selected the following company for the mentioned invention.


Fungal Isolates and Biological Control Compositions for the Control of Weeds

Invention title

Control of Canada Thistle with soil applied fungal isolates and fungal metabolites with herbicidal properties (Phoma)

Company (awarded)

Evologic Technologies

Service standards

Our goal is to achieve our service standards a minimum of 80% of the time under normal circumstances:

  • Respond to general inquiries made to our phone number or email address before the end of the next business day.
  • Respond to a client's enquiry regarding posted licensing opportunities within 5 business days.
  • Issue a draft Collaborative Research and Development Agreement for review 20 business days following receipt of all required documentation (work plan, budget, Science Director recommendation, completed risk assessment).
  • Notify successful proponents 20 business days after the close of the Request for Proposal.

Bioproducts and bioprocesses (biotechnology)

Nanostructured Platform for Biosensing and Bioconversion purposes

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists have developed block copolymers-based formulations to produce nanostructured monolayers with functional properties on a solid substrate. Such monolayers allow grafting of organic molecules with the desired three-dimensional structure and bioactivity. The templates obtained could be used for biomolecule immobilization for biosensing and bioconversion purposes.

Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Mitochondria of Crops

Nitrogen availability is limiting to cereal crop growth and has long been overcome through synthetic N fertilizer application. The ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen is limited to a narrow group of microorganisms, such as rhizobia. Some plants, for example legume crops, profit from symbiotic interactions with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, but cereal crops do not naturally form symbiotic nitrogen-fixing associations. We are developing N2-fixing triticale plants containing a mitochondrial genome enriched with nitrogen fixation (nif) genes. Genetic engineering of the triticale microspore mitochondria will allow the creation of doubled haploid triticale lines with a new organelle genome, and a new trait. The trait will be transferred to wheat through inter-species crossing, and the resulting plants will have all the features of the wheat parent enriched by N2 biological nitrogen fixation ability.

Aqueous extraction of cruciferous oilseeds seperates and isolates protein fractions

Plant based proteins are increasingly being sought after as a replacement for animal protein products. Canola meal is an abundantly available source for production of proteins as an alternative to soy protein which currently dominates the plant segment of the protein market. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists have developed an economical, aqueous pilot process to extract cruciferin- and napin-rich co-products from canola meal, is simpler and cheaper than the sole commercial alternative used by the industry leaders in canola protein production.

Crop and livestock production

GreenCropTracker - Software for processing digital photos of agricultural crops

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has developed a software tool to assist researchers in processing digital colour photographs for deriving crop structural descriptors such as leaf area index (LAI) and green cover fraction in agricultural fields.

The software can be used to study crop production from experimental plots and fields, to evaluate the impact of climate variation on crops, to derive crop descriptors from remote sensing, to verify crop growth model output, and to interface surface conditions to regional meteorological models.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Annual Variety Request for Proposals (time limited)

Each year, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada makes available to interested proponents, the sole licensing rights to market and produce pedigreed seed for each of the varieties developed through its breeding programs that have received support for registration.

Accelerated Release Program for New Potato Selections

Short Description: New Potato Selections for French Fries, Chips and the Fresh Market

Faster and Improved Plant Breeding

Plant breeding relies on exploiting natural genetic variants to create plant lines with new combinations of genes to improve productivity. This invention uses two fundamental techniques to increase or decrease the number of combinations of variants as required.

Evaluation of Canola Lines with Clubroot Resistance

Short Description: New canola lines that carry novel clubroot resistance gene combinations

Novel Clubroot Resistance Sources for Canola Breeding
Clubroot is a serious disease threat for canola production in Western Canada and breeding resistance is an important tool for combatting this disease. These lines can provide novel sources of resistance to clubroot for use in commercial breeding programs of canola. AAFC is making these lines available for evaluation under a material transfer agreement in anticipation of non-exclusive licensing.

Environmental technologies

Pre-emergent Biological control of Grassy Weeds

AAFC scientists have identified several bacterial strains exhibiting effective suppression of weed growth that can be developed into a pre-emergent bioherbicide. Some bacterial strains show broad-spectrum activity on a number of grass weed species including green foxtail and wild oat without negatively affecting major field crops. Field trials have shown that the bacterial strains significantly reduced emergence and biomass up to 90% in green foxtail and wild oat populations. Extensive fermentation studies have been conducted and granular formulation technologies have been investigated.

Food and non-food products and processes

Production of plant proanthocyanidins

Short Description: Process for extracting and purifying proanthocyanidins extracted from the bark of Canadian pine trees.

Dual Sensors for Monitoring Crop Yield

Few yield monitoring systems exist for non-combinable crops. Yield maps are slated to play an important role in the advent of big data in agriculture. Commercial systems for real time yield monitoring involve the use of load cells, and these systems still need to be improved to provide information on crop quality and noise filtration. Baby greens is among the non-combinable crops and the harvesting process involves cutting young plants close to the surface of the ground that are then conveyed on a belt to be boxed on the go. Farmers are interested to have access to a yield monitoring system to improve accuracy of the harvest with a real-time feedback loop of harvested product, for book keeping and for yield mapping.

Encapsulation system for protecting thermal sensitive probiotic bacteria

AAFC has developed a spray-drying method that utilizes a low melting-point fat (LMF), such as margarine and shortening: inexpensive food ingredients already widely used in food production. The LMF phase transition from solid to liquid above its melting temperature absorbs considerable heat energy, shielding probiotics from the high temperatures used in spray-drying and subsequent processing. Live probiotic cells are then delivered to the large intestine where they are able to provide important health benefits to the host. The method is particularly well suited to heat sensitive bioactive material and could expand the types of products currently available in the market today.

SpectrAAC II

Food analysis is the discipline underlying food safety testing: to determine changes in food products and their quality during processing and storage (see text box, below left). Food analysis characterizes properties, including composition, structure, physical chemistry and sensory attributes. These measurements are compared with the standards required for human consumption or for substances permitted to come in contact with food. Food quality includes chemical, biological and microbial factors, for example, instability, which limits shelf life and is caused by irreversible chemical and enzymatic reactions.

Systems Containing Cruciferous Plant(s) or Related Materials for Controlling/Managing Microbial Deterioration and Contamination of Foods

The delivery system is a plastic sachet containing an agriculture based product and a capsule. When the capsule is broken, naturally occurring glucosinolates and myrosinase enzyme in the meal interact to produce isothiocyanates. AAFC seeks to work with a packaging supplier to further develop cost effective applications for manufacturing plastic containers or bulk wrap for other food products that could benefit from this concept. Such products include dairy items (for example, cheese, yogurt) and fresh fruits and vegetables. AAFC would license the technology and could undertake supporting research as part of the effort to develop such applications.