The Governments of Canada and Ontario have announced that they are investing $2.5M to strengthen the agri-food sector in Canada’s most populous province, Ontario. The initiative will enable entrepreneurs to accelerate their innovative ideas and solutions and turn them into marketable products. It is designed to benefit all citizens of Ontario in ensuring that they have access to safe, high-quality food.
The project will be named the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) and is launched in collaboration with Bioenterprise Corporation, a national non-profit business accelerator.
OAFRI are inviting proposals from agri-food innovators, and will support their growth in developing their services, technologies and market-ready products. It is also accepting applications for research streams that encourage stronger adoption of best management practices for on farm production.
OAFRI is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year $3B investment by Canada’s Federal, Provisional and Territorial Governments to boost the agri-food and products sectors in the country.
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Ontario, Lisa Thompson, said: “Innovation drives the research that propels Ontario’s farmers and food processors forward, and OMAFRA is championing innovation to grow and build the sector for the future.
“The new Bioenterprise partnership and this investment in commercializing research will help bring new products to market faster and strengthen the agri-food sector, while supporting the economy by helping businesses expand, creating jobs, and increasing the competitiveness of Ontario-made products in the domestic and global marketplaces”, she continued.
CEO of Bioenterprise, Dave Smardon, commented: “Bioenterprise has long been deeply entrenched in Ontario’s agri-food and agri-tech ecosystem and having a partner like OMAFRA supporting the drive for innovation will mean big things for the sector and the economy.
“With a focus on early-stage projects through market validation and product development activities, we are supporting a rich substrate of disruptive technologies that, with Minister Thompson’s and OMAFRA’s commitment, can create substantial increases in Ontario’s global competitiveness in agriculture”, he added.
The deadline for proposals for both streams is 29th October 2021.