Growing Forward 2 Ontario Government Grants for Organizations and Collaborations

Growing Forward 2 Ontario Government Grants

Growing Forward 2 Ontario (GF2) is a $400 million government initiative funded through the Government of Ontario and administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Farming, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The program has three streams tailored to address the needs of Ontario agricultural businesses, including a stream for Organizations and Collaborations. Through this specific stream, organizations are typically classified as not-for-profit (NFP) entities, while collaborations represent the combination of two or more entities (either for-profit, NFPs, and/or academic institutions). Organizations and collaborations that meet the eligibility criteria of this program may receive up to 50-75% of their project costs to a maximum of $500,000 per project or $3 million in Ontario government funding over the program’s 5-year lifetime.

Changes to GF2 Ontario Small Business Grants in 2015

Recent changes to Growing Forward 2 Ontario’s Organizations and Collaborations stream have further prioritized agri-food industry issues. One of these changes is that organizations and collaborations will no longer need to apply for Capacity Building or Project Implementation streams, as they have instead been split up into several project focuses based on the program’s six priority areas (see below). Want to learn how this change impacts the application process? Contact Mentor Works to discuss next steps for applying to Growing Forward 2 Organizations and Collaborations Ontario government grants.

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Funding Details for Growing Forward 2 Grants Ontario

A wide range of projects that address challenges currently faced by Ontario’s agri-food industry will receive Ontario government grants. To qualify for up to 50-75% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $500,000, organizations and collaborations must show that their project addresses one or more of the following six priority areas:

  1. Assurance systems (including food safety, traceability, and animal welfare);
  2. Plant and animal health;
  3. Environment and climate change adaptation;
  4. Market development;
  5. Productivity and labour enhancement; and
  6. Leadership and business development.

Any projects being submitted for government funding grants must be completed by October 31, 2017 in order to be approved. Please ensure that your organization or collaboration is able to achieve project completion prior to submitting applications.

Project Types Eligible for GF2 Ontario Small Business Grants

For each of the six project priority areas, many types of projects are eligible to receive funding. Some of these project examples include:

  1. Assurance Systems
    • Organization needs assessments;
    • Outreach strategies;
    • Traceability solution implementation;
    • Development or evaluation of animal welfare best practices;
    • Providing skills development, training, and workshops; and
    • Validation studies, pilot projects, and demonstrations of technology.
  2. Plant and Animal Health
    • Providing workshops, skills development, training; and
    • Applied research and testing of new processes or technologies.
  3. Environment and Climate Change Adaptation
    • Developing sector-level plans;
    • Conducting analysis, audits, or assessments;
    • Providing workshops, skills development, training; and
    • Pilot or demonstration projects.
  4. Market Development
    • Assessing the feasibility or developing plans to access new markets;
    • Implementation of marketing plans; and
    • Skills training and professional development.
  5. Productivity and Labour Enhancement
    • Skills development and workforce training;
    • Knowledge sharing and acquisition; and
    • Demonstrations of new or enhanced technologies.
  6. Leadership and Business Development
    • Professional development planning, assessment, and analysis; and
    • Skills training, knowledge acquisition, and workshop attendance.

GF2 Ontario Application Intake Periods

The Growing Forward 2 Ontario program operates based on application intake periods, requiring organizations and collaborations to apply at specific times of the year. Growing Forward 2 Ontario holds intake periods throughout 2015 and beyond. There is one more intake period this year, which ends on December 15, 2015. To ensure your application is submitted before the deadline for applications, contact Mentor Works and learn how to apply.

The final 2015 application intake period for GF2 Organizations and Collaborations will end on December 15, 2015.

Eligibility Factors to be considered for Growing Forward 2 Ontario Government Funding

Organizations and collaborations need to be aware of eligibility factors which are required for their participation in the Growing Forward 2 Ontario program. These include (but are not limited to) the organization or collaboration’s primary contact being located in Ontario, that they are able to manage the project and its outcomes, and have the ability to prepare financial statements detailing project expenses and cash flow.

Eligible expenses include those which have been made following project approval from AAC and are necessary for project completion (i.e. one-time/ non-recurring costs). If you’re curious whether certain expenses are eligible for funding, ask a Canadian Government Funding Expert.

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