Ontario Agri-food Research Initiative
Learn about the 2021-2022 Ontario Agri-food Research Initiative and how to apply.
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Applications are now closed
The last application intake closed on October 29, 2021.
The Ontario Agri-food Research Initiative provides funding to advance key agri-food research and innovation projects for Ontario. The goals of the initiative are to:
- fund demand-driven research activities that can support agri-food policy, programs and the marketplace
- improve knowledge or technology to help Ontario's agri-food sector businesses address challenges
- help agri-food businesses expand market opportunities locally and globally
The initiative is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
To be eligible for funding, the lead applicant must:
- be located in Ontario
- demonstrate capacity to perform quality research activities
- be part of one of the following:
- a university or college
- a research organization, institute, or foundation
- an industry organization or business
- a non-government organization
- a municipal or indigenous government or government agency
Who is not eligible
- Federal and provincial government researchers. These researchers may collaborate on a research project with another eligible lead applicant.
- Researchers outside the province of Ontario. Researchers from other provinces may collaborate on a research project if the lead applicant for the project is in Ontario.
- Researchers with an outstanding progress report for another research project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Outstanding reports must be submitted in order to be eligible to receive funding under this initiative.
Funding streams and priorities
This call has three streams of funding that will maximize the impact of research results by supporting Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) activities and provide support for advancing innovative technologies, services and products by funding market validation and product development activities.
- must align with one of the ten approved research priority areas
- may need to address more specific priorities as set out under each stream
The three streams are:
- Knowledge Mobilization
- Research Synthesis
- Commercialization (advancing innovative technologies, products and services)
Stream A: Knowledge Mobilization
Knowledge Mobilization projects will include outreach and/or engagement activities that support the dissemination, uptake and/or use of existing research to Ontario's agri-food sector.
Stream B: Research Synthesis
Research Synthesis projects will:
- specifically address one of seven agri-food sector related research questions provided
- conduct synthesis of prior research in order to detail the status of science and research in Ontario and other relevant or similar jurisdictions
- identify research gaps and provide direction and recommendations that can be used for evidence-based policy, programs, and best management practices (BMP) where applicable
Stream C: Commercialization
The Commercialization stream is delivered by Bioenterprise, a national, non-profit business accelerator that offers commercialization expertise in supporting businesses in the agricultural technology sector.
Commercialization projects will be short-term, with a focus on:
- converting research and prototypes into viable products and production systems
- assisting Ontario-based researchers and companies who have promising discoveries to advance their research into the marketplace
With a focus on later-stage development of previous applied research projects, this stream will fund:
- market validation - to conduct market research to determine the size and quality of the market opportunity for a new and promising technology, product or service.
- product development - to create prototypes, perform field trials, remove any barriers to a market launch or private sector adoption and optimize a minimum viable product that best meets the needs of customers.
How to apply
Knowledge Mobilization and Research Synthesis streams
The Research Management System (RMS) is OMAFRA's on-line system for managing applications of Ministry-funded research programs and initiatives. Registering and logging into the RMS will take you to your Researcher Workbench where you can access all of the documents you need to understand and apply to this initiative.
If you need help with RMS, please contact RMS@ontario.ca.
Submit your proposal directly to Bioenterprise.
We are accepting applications until October 29th, 2021, at 2 p.m. ET.
Virtual information session
A virtual information session (webinar) will be available on October 4, 2021, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This session will provide:
- an overview of the program
- explanation of streams and priorities
- answer your questions about the application process and research priorities
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance and receive the webinar details.
Browse a list of past project recipients and amounts awarded.
For more information about this initiative, email us at email@example.com.