The importance of the agricultural sector is clearly seen in both the impact it has on the Canadian economy and, consequently, the amount of government support provided. The AgriInnovation Program (AIP) is one of these Canadian government funding programs. AIP supports the development of innovative technologies that impact agri-food and agri-based practices, processes, and products. As part of the Growing Forward 2 federal government incentive program, the AgriInnovation Program aims to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting industry R&D and knowledge transfer. The AIP program offers two streams of funding, one specific to commercialization and adoption of technology and the other for industry-led research and development; this blog will determine whether you and your project are eligible for industry-led R&D support.
What is the AgriInnovation Program’s Industry-Led R&D Stream?
AIP’s Industry-Led R&D stream was created to provide financial support options to for-profit and not-for-profit entities for pre-commercialization research, as well as the development and knowledge transfer of new technologies leading to innovative industry solutions. This stream categorizes projects into either Agri-science Projects, which are small-scale research initiatives, and Agri-science Clusters, containing a group of legal entities (details in next section).
Eligible Applicants for AIP’s Industry-Led R&D Stream
For-profit and not-for-profit legal Canadian entities are eligible for the Industry-Led R&D stream, however if a for-profit business wishes to apply as an Agri-science cluster, the project must have a focus on technologies that impacts multiple agricultural commodities. Please note that federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal government or agencies, and universities and colleges are not eligible Applicants.
Eligible Projects and Costs for the AgriInnovation Program’s Industry-Led R&D Stream
The Industry-Led Research and Development stream is specific to pre-commercialized technologies or R&D activities that address industry priorities. Projects can be related to piloting, testing solutions, and exploring or adapting technologies related to an agricultural product, practices, process, and/or technology development. The project must also allow for knowledge transfer and practices for customized approaches to real world applications of the R&D initiative.
This stream provides non-repayable grant contributions covering up to 50% of eligible expenses, which include administration costs, salaries (with benefits), third party contractors, travel, capital investments, and other direct project costs where applicable. Maximum lifetime funding for this five-year program is $5 million for Agri-science Projects and $20 million for Agri-science Clusters.
There are other expenses that should be remitted from the project’s eligible expense budget, including the purchase of land or buildings, entertainment related costs, normal costs of establishing or running a commercial operation, refundable portion of various taxes, costs intended to directly influence/lobby government, direct marketing and promotional expenses, as well as costs not directly related to the project.
AgriInnovation Program’s Industry-Led R&D Timelines
As of February 1, 2015, the AIP Industry-Led R&D stream will accept applications on an ongoing basis. Projects can span multiple years, as long as they are completed by January 31, 2018. The program was launched in 2013 under the $698M Growing Forward 2 program. AIP applications can take several months to be reviewed after being submitted, so ensure that you submit your application well in advance of your project’s start date, as only projects that have not commenced at the time of the application’s approval will be eligible for funding.
Get Started and Learn More: Agri Grants & Loans
Does this program seem suitable for your project? Or maybe you are interested in finding a more suitable funding program; Mentor Works offers free educational funding webinars specifically for agricultural businesses. We are constantly adding to our list of upcoming funding events that businesses can attend. The next two webinars, as of December 29, 2015, are on January 23 (9:30-11:00am) or February 6, 2015 (9:00-9:45am). Register now to learn more about the funding programs available to your agri business and how to apply.