SUPPORT FOR BUYING FREEZERS AND CONVEYORS
Ontario’s Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative is offering 60% non-repayable funding to a maximum of $150,000 to Ontario provincially and federally licensed meat processors towards increasing productivity and efficiency. Support is for new and/or refurbished equipment plus related expenses (e.g., minor building retrofits) made between July 26, 2023, and March 1, 2024. Eligible activities and expenses consist of:
- Increased cooler/freezer capacity including:
- Reefer trailers
- Condenser units
- Seals on cooler/ freezer doors
- Air flow upgrades in coolers/ freezers (e.g. fans)
- Waste management handling/processing, including:
- Equipment and structures to handle, store and dispose of deadstock and processing by-products (e.g. blood and wastewater holding tanks)
- Equipment and structures to handle, store and dispose of SRM (e.g. chilled and frozen storage, SRM screen system for whole plant)
- In-vessel composting, treatment and disposal (e.g., hides, feathers, deadstock)
- Animal handling/processing, including:
- Barn/holding pen upgrades (e.g. chute design, increase size/capacity)
- Animal restraints/knock boxes/upgrades (e.g. non-slip floor, upright restraints)
- Kill floor/evisceration room equipment (e.g. Stunning equipment, hoists, bleed rail, saws, pneumatic skinning knife, hide pullers, leg cutters)
- Product Handling/processing, including:
- Conveyer/rail systems, winches, hydraulics, skinning beds/cradles, automated tote washer, scales, vacuum packaging, mixers, ETC.
Engineering/professional services as well as training and labour costs associated with the acquisition of eligible equipment are also supported by the program.
Activities and expenses that do not directly increase productivity/efficiency, including the purchase of ERP software and solutions, are not eligible. The program does not support mobile and leased equipment or seafood/fish processors. Deadline January 31, 2024
SUPPORT FOR INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
Canada’s FoodTech Next Program advertises 45% funding to a maximum of $225,000 to support prototype development, piloting and first demonstration of Canadian-made technologies/innovations in an operational environment (i.e. Technology Readiness Level – TRL 7). Eligible projects must lead to technology/innovation viability, including the potential return-on-investment to the food-sector. Projects must address one of the program’s three priority areas:
Smart Product and Process Development
- health, nutrition & wellness benefits.
- new robotics applications to increase productivity, food safety and worker safety.
- AI, sensors, machine learning and big data to improve efficiencies; and,
- emerging science such as cultured protein.
Food Ecosystem Sustainability
- food waste reduction.
- higher value recovery.
- circularity and upcycling.
- green and smart packaging.
- more efficient use of inputs including energy, water and carbon.
Agile and Safe Supply Chains
- logistics and supply chain.
- consumer and customer analytics.
- food safety or security.
- IoT and digital application to food chains.
- blockchain and traceability.
Projects should be seeking to demonstrate technologies/innovations currently at a TRL of 3 to 7 and lead by a Canadian Incorporated business with revenues not exceeding $1M in annual revenues in their last files fiscal. Additionally, submission require one or more partner providing financial and/or in-kind support towards achieving project outcomes.
The program will support costs incurred by the lead applicant as well as project partners including equipment purchases, sub-contractor and consultant fees, property acquisitions and retrofits as well as project-related labour and material expenses. Only cost incurred no earlier than October 1, 2023, are eligible.
Applicants must propose to demonstrate new industry processes, new product categories, new knowledge, or a new application of science leading to a post-farm gate solution, i.e., not focused on agricultural activities. Food product development initiatives, such as the development or iteration of a new brand or product formulation in an existing category (example, a new protein bar) are not eligible under the program.
Expression of Interest (EOI) must be submitted by 11.59 a.m. EST Wednesday. September 6, 2023. Successful EOIs will be requested to submit a full application by 11:59 a.m. EST Monday, November 13, 2023.
$7,000 to Hire Interns for September – December 2023
The Student Work Placement Program offered by Food Processing Skills Canada advertises grant funding of 70% up to $7,000 towards hiring a college or university student currently enrolled in first year studies and/or identified as being identified as being one or more of the following unrepresented groups.
- Women in STEM: refers to a woman registered and studying in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
- Indigenous People: refers to people who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, First Nations, Métis, or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation.
- Persons with disabilities: refers to an individual who has a difficulty or impairment due to a long-term condition or health problem and/or experiences a limitation in their daily activities.
- Newcomer: refers to immigrants who immigrated to Canada within the last five years. Visible Minorities: refers to persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.
Employment must be a minimum of 10 hours per week for 4 to 16 weeks. Applicants should be part of Canada’s food and beverage sector and offering sector-related employment and training.
In supporting student placements Food Processing Skills Canada runs several free training programs to employers and employees valued at $4,000. The organization also provides free job postings.
Applications are now open for September-December placements.
Support for Attracting Business Expansion, R&D and Investment in Canada
The Strategic Innovation Fund Business Growth and Development (SIF) offers up to 50% interest-free loans of no less than $10 million towards business R&D, commercialization, expansion, growth, investment attraction and reinvestment.
- Research and Development/Commercialization of product/technology or process at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1-9 . Project examples include:
- R&D to test the commercial potential of early TRL concepts or findings,
- adaptation of research findings for commercial applications that have the potential to disrupt the market.
- development and improvement of current products by implementing new technology that will enhance the company’s competitive capability.
- process improvements reducing the environmental footprint of current production by using new technologies.
- Firm Expansion and Growth expansion or material improvement of existing industrial or technological facilities. Activities must be a Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) of 8 to 9, where the new product or technology has been qualified through tests and demonstrations and/or been proven successful. Project examples include:
- increasing manufacturing capacity to meet demonstrated market demand.
- improving production efficiency through plant and equipment improvements
- Investment Attraction and Reinvestment supports new investments in R&D leading to significant hiring of full-time-equivalent employees in Canada. Activities for these projects should be a minimum of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2, where the technology concept or application has been formulated. These projects should support the establishment of new facilities or bring new ventures to Canada. Project examples include:
- a Canadian company establishing a new production facility that did not previously exist in Canada.
- getting a production mandate for a product previously produced outside Canada or being produced for the first time.
- getting a research and development mandate previously held outside Canada or being established for the first time.
Supported costs include project-related direct labour, overhead, subcontracts, consultants, direct materials, equipment, and land/building purchases.
Applications will be assessed on the project’s level of innovation, economic benefits and resulting benefits to Canada.
Up to $123,300 for Developing and Implementing a Digital Marketing Plan
Canada’s Digital Adoption Program, Boost your Business Technology Stream offers financial support to small and medium Canadian-owned enterprises (SMEs), e.g., manufacturing including wood products and food processing operations, to adopt new technologies. Support for these businesses will be in the form of grants to offset the cost of retaining Digital Advisors who will develop Digital Adoption Plans tailored to the business. The grant will cover up to 90% of the cost to develop the digital plan, up to a maximum grant payment of $15,000.
To support the implementation of the digital adoption plan, funding recipients can apply for a 6-year zero-interest loan up to $100,000 from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). In addition, the Boost Your Business Technology Stream offers 100% funding up to $7,300 to hire a post-secondary school student or recent graduate age 18-30 to support the applicant digital adoption efforts.
Applicants must have generated revenues of $500,000 to $100 million in one of the previous three tax years from the date of applying for funding, plus have between 1 and 499 full-time equivalent employees.
Grants up to $250,000!
- Fast-Track to Financing 40% up to $25,000 for engaging expertise/consultant(s) to assist in strengthening or revising the business or commercialization plan. This could include all or a subset of the following components:
- Market, Customer, & Competitive Analysis
- Value Proposition
- Regulatory Plan
- IP Plan
- Financial Plan
- Production Plan
- Access To Talent 40% up to $75,000 towards the employee’s salary during their first 18 months with the company. Eligible employee activities/responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- product or technology development
- conducting pre-commercial business development
- regulatory strategy and/or collecting necessary data for regulatory submissions
- product or technology scale-up
Hiring an employee for product sales is not eligible.
- Proof of Concept Program 40% up to $250,000 to demonstrate the commercial potential of natural products and technologies. The Program does not support basic research, but rather supports activities that demonstrate commercial potential via animal, field, demonstration, or human trials.