Ontario’s greenhouse industry has witnessed rapid growth over the last decade. Nowhere else in Canada has a larger or faster-growing greenhouse sector than in Ontario, who dominates with over two-thirds of all Canadian greenhouse vegetable production. From 2011 to 2016, Ontario added 25.7 million square feet (29.8% increase) of greenhouse vegetable space. This increase alone exceeds total greenhouse area in every province combined except for British Columbia.
This intense growth strengthens Ontario’s economy and improves food availability/options for consumers, which is why the province offers a government grant in support of commercial greenhouse producers. The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) funds projects that help commercial greenhouses increase competitiveness, enter new markets, or expand in current markets.
The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative provides up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $1,000,000 in non-repayable funding.
Applications for GCII greenhouse grants are accepted on a continuous basis until June 19, 2020. All projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.
Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative
Consumers have expressed growing interest in locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers over recent years, which has led to significant expansion of greenhouse space in Ontario. This growth improves domestic options and availability, but also means greenhouses can begin exporting products internationally.
The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) is an Ontario government grant that returns up to 50% of eligible project expenses to businesses who are improving the province’s greenhouse sector. Greenhouse businesses can apply for projects that directly improve competitiveness, innovation, and access to new markets.
Projects Suitable for GCII Greenhouse Grants Ontario
Some of the business-expanding projects identified for funding support through GCII include:
- Production & Market Development: Improve production efficiencies, diversify sector markets, and accelerate market access;
- Biosecurity: Improve the sector’s biosecurity, resistance management, and emergency preparedness; and
- Environment: Improve the sector’s environmental stewardship and sustainability.
GCII Greenhouse Funds: Eligible Businesses
To qualify for the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII), eligible applicants may be:
- Organizations: Not-for-profit, Ontario-based, legally recognized entities representing the commercial greenhouse industry;
- Partnerships: Two or more entities that have an arm’s length relationship. Partnerships can include for-profit, not-for-profit, academic research institutions, etc.; and
- Must have at least 20,000 sq. ft. of production area.
Some of the expenses that can be included for funding support through GCII include:
- Project-related internal labour;
- Consulting and contractor fees;
- Land and building for R&D only;
- Equipment or machinery;
- Hardware and software;
- Marketing and communications; and
- Travel (only within Ontario currently).
How to Apply for GCII Greenhouse Funding
To apply for the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative, greenhouse businesses must prepare and submit a comprehensive application package that includes:
- Farm business information;
- A greenhouse business plan; and
- Project (activity) information.
Applications can be submitted to the program anytime until the June 19, 2020 deadline.
To discuss your project’s suitability for GCII, or to receive support throughout the application process, please contact a Government Funding Planner™.