Helping to bring agri-food innovations to market

TORONTO – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing in a new project to further support innovation, commercialization and growth in the province’s agri-food sector.

Ontario Agri-Food Technologies will receive up to $100,000 in cost-share funding to design and launch a pilot project called the Commercial Deal Accelerator.

This project will connect early-stage agri-businesses that have innovative ideas, with corporate investors to create commercialization activity.

Funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, this project is expected to create sustainable, private revenue streams for agri-food and agri-tech entrepreneurs in Ontario.

“This initiative will strengthen the sector’s ability to quickly bring innovation to market,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food.

“Our government is pleased to help ensure that Ontario’s high quality agri-food products continue to drive our economy and create good middle class jobs.”

“Ontario’s agri-food and agri-tech entrepreneurs have always been leaders who find success through innovation and collaboration,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

“Our government is pleased to help them continue to be successful by supporting this exciting new project through the partnership.”

“Innovation is key to all aspects of agriculture, including how we commercialize new technologies,” said Tyler Whale, president, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies.

“Importantly, the governments’ support will help Ontario maintain its leadership role in the ag-tech ecosystem, thus supporting a primary economic driver of this province and country.”

To date, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to approximately 2,500 projects through the partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations.

Funding for this project from the partnership was approved through a merit-based application intake that took place from March 4 to April 5. Through this intake, the federal and provincial governments have committed more than $2.5 million in cost-share funding towards 28 projects.

In Ontario, cost-share programming for agriculture and value chain organizations is provided through the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative.

An application intake for this initiative is currently open, and will close on Jan. 27.

Program details including the program guide are available online.

The partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.

Cost-share funding under the partnership supports projects in the following priority areas:

– Economic development in the agri-food and agri-products sectors;

– Environmental stewardship to enhance water quality and soil health; and

– Protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health.

Projects include more than 100 to help make Ontario’s food processing industry more competitive by implementing new technology and systems that enhance food safety; advance manufacturing technology and labour productivity; and/or developing new products or processes designed to lead to significantly increased sales.

Ontario’s agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs and contributes more than $47 billion towards the province’s gross domestic product.