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Funding competition for national initiatives for automation and digital technologies in the agriculture and agri-food sector


A new funding competition through the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund is available for national scale initiatives in automation and digital technology applications in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Funding of between $10 million and $50 million will be provided to a successful applicant in the competition.

Automation and digital technologies are changing the face of agriculture and agri-food value chains. To capitalize on these changes, the federal government is seeking applications for funding from networks and consortia of private sector companies, researchers and non-profit organizations that will work collaboratively to develop and deliver automation and digital technology applications for the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The federal government is seeking proposals for the development and delivery of large-scale, disruptive approaches to automation and digital technologies with applications in the agriculture and agri-food sectors. Proposals should:

  • solve problems through the use of data and technology in the agriculture and agri-food sector, such as automation and robotics, precision agriculture platforms, data and digital solutions, sensors, interconnected software and hardware, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain;
  • include collaborations between businesses (including small and medium-sized enterprises), post-secondary institutions, research institutes, and non‑profit organizations from multiple sectors across Canada;
  • generate strong economic and social benefits, such as private sector investments in R&D, the creation of new intellectual property and innovations, and the development and implementation of new products, processes and services; and
  • bring about positive environmental impacts, such as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, water usage and energy consumption.

Applicants will have until January 11, 2019, to submit a Declaration of Intent. The information contained in the Declaration of Intent will be posted online in an effort to foster collaboration among potential applicants. Applicants will have until March 1, 2019, to submit a Full Application for funding under this competition.

These commitments support the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table‘s aim to scale up capacity and boost productivity by investing in innovation, increasing market access, and adopting automation and digitization.

This investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms.


Kristy Nudds

Editor, Food In Canada
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