UP TO $750,000 FOR DEMONSTRATING INNOVATIVE FARM OR FOOD PROCESSOR TECHNOLOGIES
Funding for Commercializing Agri-Food Technologies
Ontario’s Agri-Tech Innovation (Innovators) program is offering 60% non-repayable (a.k.a. grant) funding up to $750,000 towards collaborative projects that pilot or demonstrate technological innovations (e.g. robotics, artificial intelligence, IOT) which mitigates the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission among agri-food workers while increasing food sector efficiency and productivity.
Project collaborators can include two or more agriculture sector private or public entities, associations, organizations, clusters, consortiums or academic/research institutions having an arm’s length relationship from each other as well as a vested interest in the project (i.e., contributing cash, resources, oversight, and/or expertise). Retail food services, as well as agri-food packaging material manufacturers, warehousers and distributors may be collaborators but not the lead entity. Entities located outside the province can also apply if their agri-food supply value-chain is primarily located in Ontario plus their project predominantly benefits Ontario’s agricultural and/or agri-food sectors.
Along with mitigating labour-intensive work practices and processes (often associated with high-risk COVID transmission among agri-food workers), proposed project technological innovations must result in one or more of the following:
- Allow business to focus on redeployment of workers to higher value-added activities
- Reduce sector pressure of ongoing labour shortage
- Attract higher skilled labour to sector businesses
- Increase productivity
Eligible technological innovation must have a 7-8 Technology Readiness Level (i.e., involves the piloting and/or demonstrating in a real-world operational setting with the intention of bringing the solution to market pending outcome). Moreover, the technological innovation should:
- Be currently unavailable in the Ontario agri-food marketplace
- Entail the significant modifications to existing technologies/components/processes for new sector application.
- Improve the functionality, expansion of application, cost or performance over an existing technology/process currently considered state-of-the-art or sector best practice.
Attestation of technological innovation must be confirmed by credible independent industry or academic sources that confirm the innovation of the project. The deadline for submissions is 23:59 (EDT) Monday September 27, 2021.
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