Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)

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The Canadian Food Innovation Network’s (CFIN) program is designed to support for Canadian food and beverage businesses looking to improve the industry through research and development, new product and services adoption, and innovation. CFIN aims to make Canada a leader on the global stage through two program streams: The Innovation Booster stream and the Challenge stream.

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Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)

Amount of Funding

Funding amounts vary according to each unique stream:

Booster stream:

  • CFIN Innovation Booster funds up to 50% of eligible expenses for projects ranging from $20K-$200K in total costs;
  • Costs incurred before project approval will not be eligible; and
  • If a project is approved, it will be subject to a management fee of 5% of total project costs and will be charged by CFIN.

Challenge stream:

  • Up to 50% of eligible expenses for projects ranging from $1 million – $4 million in total costs;
  • All successful applicants will need to pay a non-refundable project management fee to CFIN, accounting for 5% of project costs, if approved.
Amount of Funding from the Canadian Government

Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)

Eligible Applicants

Applicant eligibility varies according to each unique stream:

Booster stream:

  • Businesses need to have less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Applicants should have fewer than $50 million in taxed revenues from the company’s previous fiscal year;
  • Applicants should be incorporated for more than one year or be a limited liability partnership (LLP). Two years of  review engagement or audited financials are required as part of the application process; and
  • Successful applicants must be CFIN members (membership is free).

Challenge stream:

  • Applicants should be focused on, industry-led, collaborative initiatives;
  • Should consist of an applicant willing to take the lead and collaborative partners that are also incorporated in Canada; all parties of the collaboration should be members of CFIN;
  • At least one SME (fewer than 500 employees) with lower than $50 million gross revenues annually;
  • At least two independent private sector companies;
  • If a larger number of partners are included, a diversity of organizations, companies and SMEs, universities, colleges, research centers, etc. is encouraged; and
  • Research and development should be conducted at Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) one to seven.
Eligible Applicants for Canadian Government Funding

Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities vary according to each unique stream:

Booster stream:

Successful projects should focus on research and development in the technology readiness levels (TRL) of one to seven and must fall into one of three research areas:

  • Smart Product and Process Development:
    • Health and wellness products and benefits;
    • Robotic applications;
    • AI and big data; and
    • Emerging areas similar to cultured protein.
  • Food System Sustainability:
    • Food waste;
    • Value recovery;
    • Circularity and upcycling;
    • Green/smart packaging; and
    • Input efficiency.
  • Agile and Safe Supply Chains:
    • Logistics and supply chains;
    • Consumer analytics;
    • Food safety and security;
    • Digital supply chain solutions such as IoT, blockchain, etc.

Challenge stream:

  • Projects should fall into the following three fields:
    • (1) Smart Product and Process Development: health and wellness products, robotics, AI and big data systems, and emerging products;
    • (2) Food System Sustainability: such as food waste, value recovery, circularity and upcycling, eco-friendly packaging, and increased efficiencies; and
    • (3) Agile and Safe Supply Chains: logistics and supply chains, consumer analysis, food safety and security, and digital supply chain solutions.
  • Costs such as direct labor, materials, and equipment may be eligible;
  • Activities such as Industrial research for the discovery of knowledge aimed at developing new technology-driven products, processes, and services at early stage TRLs; and
  • The advancement and development of new tech into product-specific applications at middle or late stage TRLs. Projects may cover a broad range of TRLs through activities from research to near commercialization.

Eligible Expenses for Canadian Government Funding

Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)

Program Timeline

Program timelines vary according to each unique stream:

Booster stream:

  • This Canadian Food Innovation Network program will be accepting letters of intent starting on October 4th and will be accepted on an open intake basis;
  • Information sessions will be available on October 18th and November 1st, 2021;
  • Approvals will be ratified on an ongoing basis starting in 2021; and
  • Projects should be completed by March 31st, 2025.

Challenge stream:

  • Letters of intent for the Challenge stream are due on or prior to November 15, 2021;
  • Following letters of intent, a project’s full proposals are due on or prior to January 10, 2022;
  • Approvals should be made by March 2022 and Challenge stream projects may start in April 2022;
  • All projects should be completed by March 31, 2025; and
  • Any project costs incurred before approval of a project are not eligible.
Program Deadline for Canadian Government Funding
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