UP TO $2 MILLION FOR COLLABORATIVE FOOD INNOVATION R&D
Program looking to fund innovative digital solutions that can create safer and more agile food supply chain
Canada’s Food Innovation Challenge is offering 50% grant funding up to $2 million for collaborative, industry-led, development and innovation projects related to:
- Smart Product and Process Development including novel health, nutrition & wellness benefits; new robotics applications to increase productivity, food safety and/or worker safety; AI, sensors, machine learning and big data to improve efficiencies; and emerging science such as cultured protein.
- Food Ecosystem Sustainability including novel food waste reduction; higher value recovery; circularity and upcycling; green and smart packaging; and more efficient use of inputs e.g., energy, water, and carbon.
- Agile and Safe Supply Chains including logistics and supply chain; consumer and customer analytics; food safety and security; IoT and digital application to food chains; and blockchain and traceability software/applications.
Funding is to support a broad range of R&D activities at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1 to 7. Projects are expected to result in the discovery of new knowledge that aims to support the development of new technology-driven products, processes, or services at early-stage TRLs (e.g., 1-4); and/or large-scale technology demonstration, including the advancement and development of new technologies into product-specific applications at TRLs 5-7. Projects undertaking higher TRLs (i.e., 8 and 9) may also be supported if part of the overall project.
Eligible expenses include but are not limited to project-related equipment purchases, subcontractor and consultant fees, materials costs, direct labour, property leasing, plus building expansion and/or upgrades.
Project partners must include one business with less the 500 employees and sales under $50 million, plus a minimum of two additional independent companies. All partners must provide financial and/or other resources to the project. Funding preference will be given to collaborations with numerous small to large business partners. Additionally, collaboration with not-for-profit groups, research centers and learning institutions is encouraged if these organizations are facilitating and undertaking private sector funded R&D.
Note that successful applicants must pay the organization administering the fund an upfront contingency fee of 5% against the entire project budget.
Letters of Intent will be accepted until Thursday, July 7, 2022. Those subsequently invited to submit a full proposal will have until Friday September 16, 2022, to do so.
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