The Ontario Agri-food Research Initiative (OAFRI) provides funding to advance key agri-food research and innovation projects for Ontario.

The OAFRI was launched in 2019. The priorities and focus of the call for applications change each year.

The initiative is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

2021–22 projects

The 2021–22 call funded two different streams of projects. Projects aimed to maximize the impact of research results by supporting knowledge translation and transfer activities, research synthesis and advancing innovative technologies, services and products by funding market validation and product development activities.

Stream: Commercialization

Proposal titleLead ApplicantStart date to end datePriorityOrganization
Neo-Detox, Aflatoxin Detoxification for Low-Moisture FoodMatthew You2022-02-15 to
Food safety,Agri-Neo Inc.
Optimization of Fermentation Process for Leaf-AldehydePratish Gawand2022-02-15 to
Plant health and protection,Ardra Inc.
Development of the Use of BioLiNE Fulvic Acid Technology on Ontario’s Horticultural CropsMohammad Rahbari2022-02-15 to 2023-01-31Plant health and protection,BioLiNE Corp
PGP2R and PGP4 – Plot Analysis and Regulatory RequirementsAmber Kivisto2022-02-15 to 2022-12-31Plant health and protection,BioNorth Solutions
Designing and Building Custom Yeast Stains for Ontario Craft BrewersRichard Preiss2022-02-15 to 2022-12-15Innovative products and product improvementsEscarpment Laboratories
Pre-commercial Development of a Novel Proprietary Process Using an Engineered Aqueous Solution Enhancer (EASE) for ExtractionMehdi Nouraei2022-02-15 to 2022-12-15Sustainable production systems,Micellae Delivery Systems Inc.
Osiris 2.0 Prototype TestingCorey Ellis2022-02-15 to 2023-01-31Sustainable production systemsThe Growcer
Optimization of Nanolaminate Metal-oxide Barrier Coatings for Sustainable Food PackagingKevin Musselman2022-02-15 to 2023-01-09Food safety,University of Waterloo
A Smart Crop Load Management System for Horticulture to Improve Farm OutcomesJenny Lemieux2022-02-11 to 2022-12-31Plant health and protectionVivid Machines Inc.
Bioremediation Media TestingElizabeth Thorn2022-02-15 to 2023-01-31Plant health and protection,Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association
Light Arabinoxylan Dietary Fiber Product DevelopmentDarian Budarick2022-02-15 to 2023-01-31Sustainable production systemsComet Bio
Validation of Rapid E. Coli Test Kit for Water Quality TestingGeorge Botos2022-02-15 to 2022-12-15Food safety improvementsExactBlue Technologies
Development of a Zero-turn Autonomous Robotic Platform Equipped with a Mowing Deck and a Mechanical Weeding System for Vegetation Management in Vineyards and OrchardsSougata Pahari2022-02-15 to 2022-10-31Food safetyKorechi Innovations Inc.
Commercialization of Euglena Paramylon as an All-natural Alternative to MethylcelluloseScott Farrow2022-02-15 to 2023-01-20Food safetyNoblegen
Agricultural Applications of a Novel Bio-resin; Alternatives to Plastic Film, Improved Packaging and Erosion Control



Phil Richardson2022-04-01 to 2023-01-31Plant health and protectionBiodiffusion Technologies Inc.
Overhead Harvest Quality Vision Scanner ProjectJeff Chemeres2022-02-15 to 2023-01-23Competitive production systems,Dragonfly Information Technology Inc.
Feasibility Analysis of Hydrogen as an Alternative Energy Source in Field Crop and Livestock Production in OntarioTori Waugh2022-03-01 to 2022-12-31Sustainable production systemsInnovative Farmers Association of Ontario
Automated, Real-time Detection of Microbial Load in WaterNisha Sarveswaran2022-02-15 to 2022-07-01Food safetyKraken Sense
Market Validation of Animal-free GelatinFei Luo2022-02-15 to 2022-11-30Sustainable production systemsLiven Proteins
Validating the Market for the MonCataLog Prototype in OntarioTheresa Schumilas2022-03-01 to 2023-01-31Innovative products and product improvementsOpen Food Network Canada
Containerized Gasification for Small and Medium Waste ProducersDaniel Bida2022-04-01 to 2022-12-31Sustainable production systemsReGenerate Biogas

2020–21 projects

The 2020–21 call funded 21 projects through a $2.76 million investment to provide Ontarians with safer, healthier, and more locally grown and made food items while boosting trade and rural economic development.

Proposal titleLead applicantStart date and end datePriorityOrganization
Mitigation and Management of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Resistant Corn Rootworm in OntarioDavid Hooker2021-06-01 and 2022-12-31Plant Health and ProtectionUniversity of Guelph
Agro-based Game Changing Oxygen Scavenger in Reducing Food Wastes in High Barrier Compostable Plastic PackagingAmar Mohanty2021-07-01 and 2022-12-31Sustainable Production SystemsUniversity of Guelph
Finding Solutions to Upcycle Organic Waste Streams: Re(Purpose) Network – Seeing Food DifferentlyCher Mereweather2021-06-01 and 2022-06-30Sustainable Production SystemsProvision Coalition Inc.
Impact of Changing Temperatures on Bacteria-based Bio-immunization in Crop PlantsKeiko Yoshioka2021-07-01 and 2023-01-22Sustainable Production SystemsUniversity of Toronto
High-throughput Breeding (directed evolution) to Improve Reliability of Probiotics in the Field: Applying the Strategy to Reduce Nitrogen and Water in TurfgrassManish N. Raizada2021-07-01 and 2023-01-22Plant Health and ProtectionUniversity of Guelph
Automated Fire Blight Detection and Digitization for Apple and Tender FruitMedhat Moussa2021-06-01 and 2022-12-31Plant Health and ProtectionUniversity of Guelph
Early Alert of Airborne Fungal Disease and the Determination of Fungicide Resistance in Several Southern Ontario Horticultural Crops using Air Sampling MonitoringKristine White2021-06-01 and 2022-12-31Plant Health and ProtectionSpornado Inc.
Early Detection of Grapevine Viruses in Young and Asymptomatic Grapevines using Portable, Sensor-based Hyperspectral Imaging System (SHIMS)Sudarsana Poojari2021-06-01 and 2022-12-01Plant Health and ProtectionBrock University
A Metabolomics-based Platform for Standardized Evaluation of BiostimulantsDavid Liscombe2021-05-21 and 2022-03-31Plant Health and ProtectionVineland Research and Innovation Centre
On-farm Augmentation of Indigenous Mycorrhizal Inoculum for more Sustainable and Profitable Canola-soybean RotationsPedro Antunes2021-04-15 and 2022-10-31Sustainable Production SystemsAlgoma University
Development of Innovative Molecular Technology to Identify Strains of Potato Late Blight and Evaluate Portable Testing for On-farm Detection in Ontario PotatoesKevin Brubacher2021-06-01 and 2021-12-31Plant Health and ProtectionOntario Potato Board
Novel Methods for the Management of Clubroot on Canola and Brassica Vegetables in OntarioMary Ruth McDonald2021-06-01 and 2022-11-15Plant Health and ProtectionUniversity of Guelph
Limits of Detection and Feasibility of DNA-based Detection of Salmonella in Poultry ProductionAlex Wong2021-06-01 and 2022-12-22Food SafetyCarleton University
Invertebrate Bioconversion of Agri-Food Waste and Bioplastics to Renewable FertilizerRob Nicol2021-06-01 and 2022-12-22Sustainable Production SystemsLambton College
What's the Hold Up? Understanding Adoption of Best Management Practices in Livestock AgricultureJean Howden2021-07-01 and 2022-12-16Sustainable Production SystemsLivestock Research and Innovation Corporation
Inhibition of Plant and Human Pathogens for the Protection of Food Crops through Enhancement of Rhizosphere Microbial CommunitiesRobin Slawson2021-07-01 and 2022-12-31Food SafetyWilfrid Laurier University
Effective Digital Simulations for Meat Plant Safety Training: Improving Outcomes Through eXtended Reality Interactive TrainingRenuka Waduge2021-07-05 and 2022-12-16Food SafetyConestoga College
Mobilizing Knowledge for the Adoption of BMPs in Ontario's Horticulture SectorCharles Conteh2021-07-15 and 2023-01-31Sustainable Production SystemsBrock University
Improving Ready-to-Eat Meat Food Safety in Ontario Meat Processing Plants: A Positive Deviance ApproachIan Young2021-07-01 and 2023-01-22Food SafetyRyerson University
Overcoming Barriers to Adoption of Environmental Best Management Practices in the Ontario Farm Sector During Times of Structural ChangeMichael Drescher2021-08-01 and 2023-01-31Sustainable Production SystemsUniversity of Waterloo
Effector-Enabled Mining of Soybean for Novel ImmunodiversityDavid Guttman2021-08-01 and 2023-01-31Plant Health and ProtectionUniversity of Toronto

2019–20 projects

The 2019–20 call funded 11 projects through a $1.4 million investment. Projects focused on food safety, trade, market and growth opportunities, automation and bio-based production systems.

Proposal titleLead applicantStart date and end datePriorityOrganization
Building a Competitive Production Systems in Niagara and Ontario`s Agrifoods Sector: Accelerating the Adoption of Automation and Robotics TechnologyCharles Conteh2020-08-10 to 2023-01-27Competitive Production SystemsBrock University
Proposal to Conduct a Study of Automation in the Ontario Food and Beverage Processing IndustryJason Crawford2020-09-01 to 2021-03-31Competitive Production SystemsFood and Beverage Ontario
Investigation of bacteriocinogenic probiotics as an integrated strategy to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in broiler productionRiadh Hammami2020-09-01 to 2022-08-31Food SafetyUniversity of Ottawa
Comprehensive evaluation of a high throughput culture-independent diagnostic test (CIDT) against standard methods for simultaneous detection of common food-borne pathogens in foodsShu Chen2020-09-01 to 2022-10-31Food SafetyUniversity of Guelph (UofG)
Culture Independent Testing and Monitoring for Controlled Environment Food Safety and Crop ProtectionTrevor Charles2020-09-01 to 2022-07-31Food SafetyMetagenom Bio Life Science
Evaluation of a High Throughput CRISPR Sequence-Based Method for Identification of Multiple Salmonella Serovars in a Sample from Poultry Production EnvironmentsShu Chen2020-09-01 to 2022-03-31Food SafetyUniversity of Guelph (UofG)
Use of High Pressure Processing (HPP) to Enhance Safety and Self-life of Ontario Processed Meats Without Compromising Quality and/or Additives InclusionShai Barbut2020-06-01 to 2023-01-31Food SafetyUniversity of Guelph (UofG)
Control of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry Production and Processing through the application of novel technologiesKeith Warriner2021-01-01 to 2022-12-31Food SafetyUniversity of Guelph (UofG)
Development of an oral intervention method to eliminate shedding of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 by pigsDoug Cossar2020-09-01 to 2023-01-31Food SafetyPlantForm Corporation
Analysis and Development of an Agri-Food Waste to Biopesticides Value ChainRob Nicol2020-05-01 to 2022-12-30Sustainable Production SystemsLambton College
Building Ontario Food Brands on China’s E-Commerce MarketYing Jiang2020-10-01 to 2022-07-31Trade, Market & Targeted Sector Growth OpportunitiesOntario Tech University