Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative

Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) for 2021-2022

The Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) seeks to provides funding to advance key agri-food research and innovation projects for Ontario. OAFRI was launched in 2019 and has funded 32 projects with total funding up to $4.1M in the past two research calls. Funding for this program will be provided under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).

OAFRI is a five-year, $3-billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments to help bring agri-food research to market.

This initiative has three goals:

  1. Fund demand-driven research activities that can support agri-food policy, programs and the marketplace;
  2. Improve knowledge or technology to help Ontario’s agri-food sector businesses address challenges; and
  3. Help agri-food businesses expand market opportunities locally and globally.

The deadline to submit proposals for each stream is October 29, 2021. Future intake periods will be announced at a later date.

Program Eligibility:

To help ensure that the best applicants are accepted for Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) funding, all applicants who are eligible for funding must meet the following requirements:

  • Be located in Ontario;
  • Demonstrate capacity to perform quality research activities; and
  • 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; or
    • A municipal or indigenous government or government agency.

Program Streams / Eligible Projects:

With the wide range of agritech programs being developed, the OAFRI program has created three separate funding streams, each with their own unique set of eligible projects that can access funding. The three unique streams are:

Stream A: Knowledge Mobilization – This stream will encourage stronger adoption of best management practices for on farm production by sharing the cost for outreach/ engagement activities. 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.

Eligible priority areas include:

  • food safety;
  • animal welfare & health;
  • plant health & protection;
  • soil health;
  • water quality and quantity;
  • sustainable production systems;
  • productive land capacity;
  • competitive productions systems;
  • innovative products & product improvements; and
  • trade market & targeted sector growth opportunities.

Stream B: Research Synthesis – This stream will specifically address one of seven agri-food sector related research questions and identify research gaps while providing direction and recommendations that can be used for evidence-based policy, programs, and best management practices (BMP) where applicable.

Eligible priority areas include:

  • plant health & protection;
  • water quantity & quality;
  • sustainable production systems; and
  • competitive production systems.

Stream C: Commercialization – This stream will be administered by Bioenterprise Corporation, which is a national non-profit business accelerator that offers commercialization expertise in supporting businesses in the agricultural technology sector. Eligible projects will focus on transforming ideas into new market ready products and services. Eligible projects must be related to converting research and prototypes into viable products.

Apply for the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI)

All applications must be submitted before October 29, 2021 to be eligible for funding. This application period will invest $2.5 million in bringing agri-food research projects to market.

If you believe your business is eligible for funding, you can apply for the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) with Mentor Works team of Canadian government grant and loan application writers. We average an 86% approval rating across all government funding programs. Speak with a government funding planner or call us at 1-888-599-3111 to find government programs your business may be eligible for.

Get access to our free Ontario Agri-Food White Paper to for tips on how to manage your agri-business, how you can growing your agri-business with available funding programs, and a wealth of resources, links, tools, and support services related to agriculture and food processing businesses.

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