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$2.5 million earmarked to bring Ontario agri-food research to market


September 28, 2021
By Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

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Ottawa and Queen’s Park are investing $2.5 million to turn innovative ideas and solutions into marketable products that will strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector.

Through a new agreement with Bioenterprise Corporation, a national non-profit business accelerator, the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) is now accepting proposals that will see innovative agri-food research ideas transformed into leading-edge technologies, services, and new market-ready products.

The Initiative is also accepting applications for research streams that encourage stronger adoption of best management practices for on farm production. The deadline to submit applications is Oct. 29.

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For application details and eligibility criteria, visit: www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-agri-food-research-initiative.

“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,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “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.”

“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,” said Dave Smardon, CEO of Bioenterprise. “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.”

The partnership with Bioenterprise Corporation is part of the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative.

OAFRI is accepting applications in three different streams of funding. The knowledge mobilization and research synthesis streams will encourage stronger adoption of best management practices for on farm production. The commercialization stream will be administered by Bioenterprise Corporation and will focus on transforming ideas into new market ready products and services.

OAFRI was launched in 2019 and has funded 32 projects with total funding up to $4.1M in the past two research calls. Funded projects in 2019 and 2020 focussed on food safety, trade, market and growth opportunities, automation, plant health, bioeconomy, and sustainable production systems.


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