Agri-Tech Innovation Cost-Share Program

Overview

Recognizing the importance of keeping Ontario's agri-food sector strong through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agri-Tech Innovation cost-share program will support the modernization of workplaces, by funding projects to implement advanced or innovative technology (such as automation and robotics), that will enhance the protection of workers health and safety against COVID-19, lead to business efficiencies and productivity, and help build the sector's resilience.

Projects will focus on those businesses within the sector that are at the highest risk of potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission.

Funding is available through the following categories:

The Innovators category provides funding for larger scale projects that support innovators through collaborations between Agri-food businesses, commodity organizations and/or agri-food technology providers that want to work collaboratively to pilot or demonstrate technology innovations. These projects will in turn present significant innovation to the sector or to Ontario in mitigating potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission risks among agri-food workers, leading to the sector's increased efficiency and productivity.

The Early Adopters category provides funding to businesses for implementation of Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology that can reduce the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission among agri-food workers, by shifting away from labour-intensive work practices or processes. The Early Adopters intake opened on May 17, 2021 and closed on June 21, 2021.

Program Category Description - Innovators

Purpose of Program Category

To provide funding for projects that involve the piloting and/or demonstration of technological innovation that advances automation through robotics, artificial intelligence, digital and/or other forms of innovative technologies in reducing labour intensive work practices and processes often associated with high-risk COVID transmission, in order to reduce the risk of transmission among agri-food workers and, lead to increased productivity.

Projects will be undertaken as collaborations between agri-food businesses, commodity organizations and/or agri-food technology providers who want to work collaboratively to pilot or demonstrate technology innovations, which will help to demonstrate the usefulness and benefits of the technology and help support scale up and future adoption.

Projects will focus on technology innovations with clear market potential that are ready to be piloted and demonstrated in operational environments.

Who Can Apply?

  • Two or more legal entities that have an Arm's Length relationship from each other and are collaborating on a project may apply, provided each entity:
    • is directly engaged and has a vested interest in the project (i.e. contributing cash, providing resources, project oversight, and/or expertise in the project)
    • is in compliance with all Requirements of Law and agrees to remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law for the duration of the project,
    • one of the entities represents the interests of sector(s) or supply value chain(s) within Ontario which will benefit from the project.

    Applicants must be represented by a lead entity that has operations in Ontario and is capable of entering into a Contribution Agreement with the Province of Ontario. The lead entity must provide a Canada Revenue Agency Business Number as part of the application process.

Project partners collaborating on a Project:

For the purposes of the application, legal entities collaborating on a Project may include, but are not limited to:

  • For-Profit entities, Not-For-Profit entities, clusters or consortiums of associations/organizations along the Agri-food sectors' value chain, and/or academic/research institutions
  • Entities that are vendors or suppliers to the project must have an Arm's Length relationship from each other, as set out in section 251 of the Income Tax Act (Canada). For example, they are not:
    • Corporations that are under common control
    • Relationships of control involving corporations
    • Individuals connected by blood relationship, adoption, marriage or common law
  • Entities that are retail food services, Agri-food Packaging material manufacturers and Agri-food warehousing and distribution, may collaborate on projects, but are not eligible to be a lead entity
  • Entities located outside of Ontario may participate in the program, if the Agri-food supply value-chain is primarily located in Ontario. The project must primarily benefit the Ontario agri-food and agri-products sectors

Project partners must submit a Partner Declaration form as part of the application

Cost-Share:

  • Applicants may apply for up to 60% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $750,000. Funding may be provided at the amount or percentage requested or at a reduced amount or percentage, depending on the merit assessment of the project and funding availability.
  • Applicants that demonstrate leverage from other sources (such as project collaborators/partners, consortiums or other programs), which amplify the impact of potential funding, will receive additional merit consideration during the assessment phase, provided that they comply with the stacking limitation rules below.
Financial Capacity
  • Approved Project funding will only be provided to the lead entity on a reimbursement basis, based upon satisfying the terms and conditions of the Contribution Agreement. For Projects with a total project value of $350,000, or higher, applicant's must provide evidence of financial capacity with the application, such as a letter from applicants' financial institution confirming financial capacity to cash flow the project in its entirety.

Eligible Projects:

In order to be eligible, the proposed project must focus on technology that:

  • Reduces labour intensive work practices and processes often associated with high-risk COVID transmission among agri-food workers, and addresses at least one of the following labour-related benefits:
    • Allows business to focus redeployment of workers to higher value-added activities
    • Reduces the ongoing labour shortage pressures in the sector
    • Attracts more highly skilled labour to businesses within the sector
    • Increases the productivity
  • Has a Technology Readiness Level that is currently between 7 and 8 (inclusive), and involves the piloting and/or demonstrating in a real-world operational setting with the intention of bringing the solution to market pending the outcome of the pilot/demonstration.
  • Meets one or more of the definitions of Innovation below:
    • An *invention, new technology or new process that is not currently available in the Ontario agri-food marketplace.
    • Significant modifications to existing technologies/components/processes in order to expand the application of technologies/components/processes for use in a new sector.
    • An improvement in functionality, expansion of application, cost or performance over an existing technology/process that is considered state-of-the-art or the current industry best practice.


    *An "invention" is defined as: "A manufacturing design or any other new and useful improvement that is new or novel, that is, not commonly known or not an obvious derivative of an existing way of doing things."

  • Advances automation through robotics, artificial intelligence, digital and/or other forms of innovative technologies, that have a clear market potential and are not commercially available for wide scale application.
  • Ensures the new technology adheres to all regulations (federal or provincial) and requirements connected to worker health and safety standards including new COVID-related protocols in Agri-food facilities.
  • Has a knowledge transfer plan respecting intellectual property rights, that will detail the approach to sharing knowledge and project results across commodities/sectors and/or value chains in Ontario to allow for future adoption.

Innovation:

Applicants are expected to provide credible, unbiased evidence to demonstrate that the project meets the definition(s) of Innovation. This may take the form of:

  • Documentation from credible industry or academic sources that confirm the innovation of the project. Names and contact information of independent sources should be included
    • Documentation cannot be from sources with a direct financial stake in, or other close connection to, the project (e.g., a member of the company's board of directors, an employee of a company supplying a new piece of equipment for the project, or a collaborator in the project).
    • OMAFRA staff will not provide letters of support for any applications.
  • Unbiased studies or market analysis.

Potential Project Focus Areas

The following are examples of some potential project focus areas. Other focus areas not listed will be considered.
Agricultural Innovation for Crop Production: solutions and application in areas of disease detection, monitoring, phenotyping, harvesting, planting, spraying, weeding, insect control, pruning or other various labour-intensive tasks
Agricultural Innovation for Livestock or Poultry Production: solutions and application in areas of livestock management and livestock handling or other various labour-intensive tasks
Innovations for Food Preparation Processing and Production: solutions and application areas in of Food handling, washing, sorting, classification and grading, logistics and palletizing, packing, cutting or other various labour-intensive tasks

How to Apply

  • Applicants must submit a completed application using the electronic application form with all required documentation by email to AgriTechInnovationProgram@ontario.ca
  • Applicants can access the application form here and the Partner Declaration form here
  • This form must be filled out using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Applicants who complete this form using non-Adobe software will required to redo and resubmit using Adobe software before it can be accepted.
  • The application and required documentation must be submitted by September 27, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. EDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • All complete applications will be reviewed, and decisions communicated to the lead entity.

Required documentation to support your application

  • Partner Declaration form for each of the project partner
  • Quote(s) to support project costs such as: eligible technology or equipment and, if applicable, the software necessary for technology integration
  • Quote(s) or proposal(s) from third-party organizations or consultants, detailing services to be provided, and costs
  • Evidence to demonstrate how the project meets the definition(s) of Innovation
  • For projects over $350,000, confirmation/evidence of financial capacity to cash flow the project such as bank letters indicating sufficient resources to cash flow project

Optional documentation to support your application

  • Letters of support for the project from potential end-users of the innovation of the project
    • Support letters cannot be from sources with a direct financial stake in, or other close connection to, the project (e.g., a member of the project collaborators' board of directors, an employee of a company supplying a new piece of equipment for the project, or a project collaborators in the project).

Project Start and Completion Dates

An eligible project cannot start prior to the date that OMAFRA approves the project. This date will be communicated in an Approval Letter to a successful applicant after their application has been assessed. To be eligible for reimbursement, costs can only be incurred, invoiced and paid for on or after the start date set out in the Approval Letter and before the project completion date.

Projects must be implemented and completed no later November 30, 2022, and in accordance with all the other terms and conditions of the Contribution Agreement between the Province of Ontario and a successful applicant.

How often can I apply?

  • Applicants can only submit one application under this project category.

Application Assessment Process

Applications that meet eligibility criteria are assessed using merit assessment criteria. A merit-based application review process is used to allocate funding that is available to projects that best meet merit assessment criteria. Only applications that best meet the merit assessment criteria will be approved.

Merit Assessment Criteria:

The Merit Assessment Criteria used to assess an application are:

  1. Project Impact and Benefits:
  • COVID-19 Transmission Risk is Reduced, Impact and Benefits:
    • Demonstrates how the proposed technology focuses on reducing labour intensive work practices and processes often associated with high-risk COVID transmission among agri-food workers, and addresses at least one of the following labour-related benefits:
      • Allows business to focus redeployment of workers to higher value-added activities
      • Reduces the ongoing labour shortage pressures in the sector
      • Attracts more highly skilled labour to businesses within the sector
      • Increases productivity
  • Demonstrates other broad impacts/benefits that extend across multiple agri-food sectors or produce social, environmental or economic benefits beyond the immediate agri-food supply chain
  • Demonstrated industry and/or agri-food supply chain support for the project (e.g. letters of support)
  • Knowledge Sharing: Demonstration of an appropriate plan for knowledge translation and transfer for how learnings and results from the project will be shared, respecting intellectual property rights.
  1. Technological Innovation:
  • Evidence provided (e.g. credible, non-biased evidence), demonstrates how the project meets one or more of the definitions of innovation below:
    • An *invention, new technology or new process that is not currently available in the Ontario agri-food marketplace.
    • Significant modifications to the application of existing technologies/components/processes that are applied in a setting or condition for which current applications are not possible or feasible.
    • An improvement in functionality, cost or performance over an existing technology/process that is considered state-of-the-art or the current industry best practice.

    *An "invention" is defined as: "A manufacturing design or any other new and useful improvement that is new or novel, that is, not commonly known or not an obvious derivative of an existing way of doing things."

  • Project scope - Demonstrates that the project advances automation through robotics, artificial intelligence, digital and/or other forms of innovative technologies, that have a clear market potential and are not commercially available for wide scale application.
  • Technology Readiness Level (TRL) - Demonstrates that the proposed solution is currently between TRLs 7 and 8 (inclusive), and provided justification by explaining the research and development (R&D) that has taken place to bring the solution to the stated TRLs
  • The project demonstrates a realistic overall commercialization approach/business model that can successfully take the technology to market, and how the technology will benefit the sector
  1. Project Feasibility:
  • Demonstrated capacity and plan to undertake a successful project:
    • Evidence of relevant and adequate resources, expertise and skills to undertake the project:
      • a well-defined work plan than demonstrates how the project can achieve results within the specified budget and timeline, and indicates estimated Technology Readiness Level at each stage/milestone
      • Demonstration of a well-defined budget, with itemized costs that are substantiated (e.g. quotes, cost breakdown details etc), and necessary for the project, and align with defined eligible costs
      • Evidence of technical expertise and relevant experience to undertake project
      • Confirmed financial support from project partners and/or other entities to amplify the impact of potential funding and levels of cost-share contribution
      • Evidence of financial capacity to undertake/cash flow project (for projects with a total value of $350,000)
    • Demonstrated of a plan to mitigate potential project risks

Stacking Cost-share Funding

  • Stacking of Agri-Tech Innovation cost-share funding with funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is not permitted.
  • Applicants can stack cost-share funding from other Provincial programs and Federal cost-share funding programs only, assuming stacking is permitted under the applicable federal program(s). However, combined federal cost-sharing funding and Agri-Tech Innovation cost-share funding cannot exceed 85% of a project's eligible costs. All project funding sources (including stacking with Federal programs) must be disclosed in the application form.

Not Eligible to Apply

  • Sole applicants
  • Pet food manufacturers
  • Cigarette manufacturers
  • Businesses that process household waste or household waste by-products
  • Federal, provincial and territorial government departments, ministries or agencies, including any employees thereof, are not eligible

Projects Not Eligible:

  • Projects that are not eligible for cost-share funding include those that:
    • Do not fit the eligible project category description
    • Support normal operating costs associated with carrying out business or increasing production capacity
    • Have the sole purpose of coming into or maintaining compliance with Requirements of the Law that pertain to current operations
    • Involve directly influencing or lobbying any level of government
    • Support basic research (experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without a commercial or other specific application for implementation)
    • Are located in whole or in part outside of Ontario

Eligible Activities and Expenditures

Eligible activities and expenditures are costs that are reasonable and necessary for the successful implementation of the project. For greater clarity, eligible activities and expenditures are those set out below:

  • Cost of goods (including supplies), services and all related shipping or transportation costs, such as but not limited to:
    • Purchase of new equipment, or retrofitting existing equipment, technology and software systems to increase automation and labour productivity (includes equipment to package and label products), and activities associated with installation and configuration
    • Modifications to existing equipment or technology for optimization of protections against COVID-19 transmission risks or to enable installation of automation and labour-saving equipment and technology
    • Costs of development and/or translation of automation or manufacturing policies and procedural manuals for the technology adopted under the approved project. Examples include health and safety policies, feedback systems, preventative maintenance procedures, standard operational procedures such as processing standards (e.g. time, temperature, speed, etc.) and employee scheduling systems
    • Third-party costs necessary for the implementation of the project, such as: engineering or professional services, or training key personnel on project-related new technology
    • Costs of software and software customization necessary for integration of advanced automation or manufacturing technology
  • Labour costs for new staff that are dedicated specifically to the project (such as contract salaries, benefits, and specific per diem fees)
  • Costs of land rental for piloting and demonstration purposes
  • Costs for rental of facilities, equipment or machinery necessary for implementation of the project
  • Costs of communication materials including design, printing, translation, to disseminate best practices, outcomes and learnings derived from pilot projects, or demonstrations
  • For research services costs, overhead of a service supplier that is a research institution, to a maximum of 25 per cent of applicable eligible costs
  • Travel, meal and accommodation expenses related to essential travel necessary for the implementation of the project, specifically meals and mileage (in accordance with the province's Travel, Meal and Hospitality Directive and in compliance with any exemptions from any federal, provincial or municipal COVID-19 related travel restrictions)
    • In order to be eligible, travel and meal costs must be identified and approved as such in the application for an approved project
  • In-kind contributions related to salaries of exiting staff that are specifically dedicated to the project, to a maximum of 15 percent of the approved value of eligible project costs. Eligible in-kind salaries include:
    • Actual salary cost for employing experts to contribute directly to the project
    • Portion of the salary of a project manager or support staff person assigned to fulfill duties necessary for the project
    • In order to be eligible, in-kind contributions must be identified in the application and approved. In-kind contributions are paid after all reimbursement requirements are met, and the project is complete. (See section: What documentation is required for eligible in-kind salary contributions?)
  • In order for costs to be eligible, applicants must:
    • Follow a procurement process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money at competitive market prices. Eligible expenses will be reimbursed only after all discounts available to an applicant have been applied.
    • For vendors or suppliers who are collaborating on the project, must follow a billing process that is transparent, fair and promotes best value for the money, at competitive market prices, inclusive of all discounts normally made available to parties like their partner, the purchaser
    • All suppliers from which goods or services are purchased must be at Arm's Length from the applicants, meaning that they are not related to the applicants, not affiliated with the applicants, or controlled in any way by the applicant. If you have any questions about whether a supplier meets this requirement, please contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300 or at: AgriTechInnovationProgram@ontario.ca

Ineligible Activities and Expenditures:

  • In-kind contributions, other than those in-kind contributions related to salaries expressly set out above
  • Costs incurred before the approval of the project by OMAFRA or after the project completion date identified in the Contribution Agreement between the successful applicant and the Province of Ontario
  • Costs incurred in preparing the application or in reporting/providing information to the Province of Ontario (e.g. claims, progress reports)
  • Any cost not specifically required for implementation of the project
  • Normal costs of establishing, expanding or operating a business or organization
  • Normal costs of implementation of a facility expansion
  • Goods or services provided by federal or provincial government departments or agencies
  • Deposits (prepayments) for which goods or services are not yet fully received
  • Costs for training and skills development projects that fulfill any academic requirements towards completion of a diploma or degree
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Sponsorship of conferences and learning events or initiatives honorariums
  • Membership costs
  • Any travel, meal and accommodation costs beyond those provided for in this Guide and Contribution Agreement
  • Consultant and other contractor expenses for any hospitality (e.g., provision of food or beverages at events), incidentals or food
  • Hospitality (e.g., venue rental, food, beverages, AV, etc.)
  • Purchase or lease of land, building or facilities
  • Costs of vehicles, transportation equipment not being piloted or demonstrated and not necessary for the implementation of the project.
  • Financing charges, loan and lease interest payments, bank fees and charges as well as debt restructuring or fundraising
  • Gifts and incentives
  • Permits and approvals
  • Legal fees
  • Costs related to activities that directly influence or lobby any level of government
  • Costs of basic research necessary for the successful implementation of the pilot or demonstration, including but not limited to:
    • Market research
    • Jurisdictional scans
    • Early Analytic studies
    • Other research related to activities in TRL 1 through 6
  • Taxes, including Harmonized Sales Tax
  • Any refund or rebate the applicant receives or is eligible to receive
  • Any costs that are not Arms' Length

How will I be notified of a funding decision?

  • The lead entity will be notified by email once applications have been reviewed and decisions have been made. There are two possible outcomes:
    • If the application is approved - the lead entity will:
      • Receive an Approval Letter with details (e.g. value of cost-share approved, earliest approved project start date)
      • Be required to enter into a Contribution Agreement with the Province of Ontario and follow all of its terms and conditions. No payments will be made to the successful applicant until the Agreement has been signed.
      • Receive confirmation of Claim procedures and submission deadlines, and a Final Report that must be completed at the completion of the project
      • Be required to register through the Province of Ontario's Transfer Payment Common Registration (TPCR) system (an online registration tool),
      • Be required to cash flow all project costs: be invoiced for and pay all project costs and receive all funding paid by OMAFRA
    • Application is declined - the applicant will receive a notification confirming that the assessment has been completed.

Claiming Funding for Approved Projects

When is funding paid?
  • Approved funding is paid after the lead entity has Incurred and
    paid for expenses and has submitted a Claim package that meets all requirements and has been approved by OMAFRA.
  • Each eligible expenditure is reimbursed at the approved cost share funding percentage.
  • There will be a 10 per cent holdback of reimbursement until a Final Report for the project is received and approved by OMAFRA. The Final Report submitted for the project must include a certification that the project has been completed within the project timelines stated in the Contribution Agreement, and the project must fulfil all other requirements stated in the Contribution Agreement.
How is a Claim submitted?
  • Claims should be submitted to OMAFRA by the lead entity no later than the Claim deadline date given in the Contribution Agreement.
  • OMAFRA may request any additional information from the applicants that is deemed necessary (e.g., copies of any permits obtained by the applicant in conducting the project, photos).
  • What your Claim package must contain:
    • Completed claim form
    • Copies of all paid invoices
    • Proofs of payment
  • Each proof of payment submitted for a paid invoice must verify:
    • What was procured
    • Who paid
    • Who received payment
    • The amount of payment
    • The date of payment
  • Proof of payment may be any one of the following:
    • Copy of front and back of posted cheque (i.e. an electronic image of processed cheque)
    • Statement from banking institution indicating to whom the processed cheque was written, or electronic payment made, and for what amount
    • Credit card or debit card receipt or statement clearly identifying amount and to whom the payment was made. Credit card or debit card numbers and other information, including costs that are unrelated to the project, should be blacked out.

What documentation is required for eligible in-kind salary contributions?

In order to be eligible, salary in-kind contributions must be identified and approved as such in the application for an approved project. In-kind contributions are paid after all reimbursement requirements are met, and the project is complete.

Eligible salary in-kind contributions and the documentation required when making a Claim are:

Eligible Expense Definition Reimbursement Requirement
Salaries
  • Actual salary cost for employing experts dedicated to the project
  • That portion of the salary of a project manager or support staff person assigned to fulfill duties necessary for the projector
  • Signed timesheets with supervisory approval
  • Payroll register
  • Personnel file with salary/wage information
  • Employment contract
  • Copy of front and back of posted cheque (i.e. an electronic image of processed cheque) /direct deposit schedule

Travel and Meal Expenses

In order to be eligible, travel and meal costs must be identified and approved in the application for an approved project.

Eligible funding for travel expenses for an approved project may be claimed when the most economical transportation and accommodation (i.e., single accommodation in a standard room) is chosen. Travel is undertaken in accordance with any COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Travel - the maximum eligible costs for personal vehicles driven within Ontario are:

Number of Kilometres Southern Ontario ($/km) Northern Ontario ($/km)
0-4,000 km 0.40 0.41
4,001-10,700 km 0.35 0.36
10,701-24,000 km >0.29 >0.30
More than 24,000 km 0.24 0.25

Meals - Reimbursement for meal expenses is subject to the maximum eligible cost value set out in the tables below. Original, itemized receipts are required, and the eligible cost value will not exceed the actual amount spent. Taxes and gratuities are included in the maximum eligible cost value. Reimbursement is for restaurant/prepared food only and not available for alcohol purchases.

Maximum eligible costs for meals in Canada (CAD):

Meal Type Maximum Eligible Costs
Breakfast $10.00
Lunch $12.50
Dinner $22.50

Terms and Conditions

Definitions of terms used in these Guidelines

Approval Letter: A letter, sent by email from OMAFRA, that is a notification of a conditional approval and sets out information including the amount of approved cost-share funding, project start date and project completion date
Arm's Length: shall have the same meaning and shall be determined in the same manner as set out in section 251 of the Income Tax Act (Canada). If you have any questions about whether a supplier meets this requirement, please contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300
Contribution Agreement: A legal agreement that successful applicants must enter into with the Province of Ontario, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, if the project is approved and the applicant agrees to receive funding. The legal agreement contains the terms and conditions that the applicant must comply with to receive cost-share funding
For-Profit: A legally recognized entity engaged in a business that has operations in Ontario and is capable of entering into a Contribution Agreement with the Province.
Incurred Cost: A cost for which a successful applicant has become liable to pay that is necessary for the successful completion of their project under the Initiative
Innovation: An *invention, new technology or new process that is not currently available in the Ontario marketplace; significant modifications to existing technologies/components/processes in order to expand the application of technologies/components/processes for use in a new sector, or an improvement in functionality, expansion of application, cost or performance over an existing technology/process that is considered state-of-the-art or the current industry best practice

*An "invention" is defined as: "A manufacturing design or any other new and useful improvement that is new or novel, that is, not commonly known or not an obvious derivative of an existing way of doing things."

Merit Assessment Criteria: Criteria used to establish the level of merit for funding of each eligible application, as set out in the merit assessment criteria in the guide
Not-For-Profit: A legal entity that is: A registered charity, as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada), and remains in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency; or A corporation incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation or similar entity under an Act of Canada or a province or territory of Canada and is in good standing under that Act; and has operations in Ontario (i.e., located in Ontario and, where applicable, have a membership composed primarily of Ontario residents/businesses/organizations) and is capable of entering into a Contribution Agreement.
Project Category: Cost-share funding is made available under specific Project Categories, which each have their own parameters, criteria, and terms and conditions
Project Category Description: Each Project Category Description provides the parameters, criteria and terms and conditions specific to a Project Category under which cost-share funding is made available
Requirements of Law: means all applicable Requirements of Law, as may be set out in statutes, regulations, by-laws, codes, rules, ordinances, official plans, approvals, permits, licenses, authorizations, decrees, injunctions, orders and declarations, or any other similar Requirement of Law

Application Declaration

In order to be considered for funding under the Agri-tech Innovation Cost-Share Program ('the Initiative), an eligible business must agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions herein.

The Lead Entity must be a legal entity that meets all eligibility requirements as set out above and in Minister's Order Number 0004/2020. The Person who signs the application form must be authorized by the lead applicant to sign the form on behalf of the Lead Entity and to bind the lead applicant to the contents therein. This Person is referred to as "you" below. The eligible business is referred to as "the business" below.

The individual who submits the application form must be a person who is authorized by the business to submit the form on its behalf and to bind t it to the contents herein. .

By submitting the form, the Lead Entity is certifying to:

  • Having read, understood and abided by all Program requirements, as well as being in agreement to continue to abide by all Program requirements. These requirements include that:
    • All information submitted on the application form is true and complete, to the best of your knowledge, belief and understanding.
    • The business is in compliance with all Requirements of the Law
    • The business does not currently owe any money to Ontario, or a description of any the business' debt to Ontario is attached to the application form.
    • No officer, director or employee of the business, or other beneficiary of the expenses, is a current or former federal public office holder or federal public servant, or, if any officer, director or employee of the business is a current or former federal public officer holder or federal public servant, they are in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, as applicable.

In addition, the applicant is certifying that the business entity:

  • Will retain all records relating to any payments made to the business, including all invoices and proof of payment in an organized and business-like manner for at least seven (7) years from the date the application form was submitted.
  • Consents to Ontario publishing information about the project ('Activities') funded including without limitation, the amount of funding the business has been approved to receive and/or has received, and the nature and results of any Activities funded, along with the business' name and location.
  • Will use as part of its project and retain ownership, possession and control of any tangible asset with a fair market value of over $10,000 purchased, contributed, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired by the business under this Program for at least two years following acquisition. For greater certainty, this includes refraining from leasing or otherwise encumbering these tangible assets. Further, 'fair market value' means the highest price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable, informed and willing parties acting at arm's length, who are under no compulsion to transact.

By submitting the form, the applicant acknowledges and accepts that:

  • Ontario has reserved the right to refuse the application form where it is not completed to Ontario's satisfaction.
  • Funding is provided through a discretionary, non-entitlement program and that the business is not entitled to funding merely as a consequence of submitting an application form. Payment, if any, is subject to Ontario having sufficient money within its existing budget, including receiving all the necessary appropriations from the Ontario Legislature; the business and the business' proposal and activities satisfying eligibility criteria and eligible expense criteria; and the business' compliance with all these terms and conditions. If it is determined that the business received a payment it was not eligible to receive, through administrative error or otherwise, it will repay any and all payments that the business was not eligible to receive as well as any surplus funding in full promptly upon demand.
  • Any payments made to the business may be subject to recovery or offset against the business' pre-existing debts to the Crown in Right of Ontario. Ontario may also charge interest on any money owing by the business at the then current rate charged by Ontario on their respective accounts receivable.
  • Ontario including the respective Ministers, directors, officers, agents, employees or representatives (as applicable), shall not be liable for any injury, damages or losses whatsoever, or howsoever arising, including injury, damages or losses arising from any advice, opinions, representations, warranties or the provision of information it may provide to the Applicant.
  • The rights and obligations under the Program are governed by Ontario law. The Courts of Ontario will have exclusive jurisdiction over any proceedings related to the Program.
  • The information provided may be used and disclosed to conduct audits, enforce the terms and conditions of the Program, confirm that the person in receipt of payments under the Program paid taxes on the payments, and collect any debt owing.
  • The information, with the exception of the Social Insurance Number (SIN) provided by sole proprietors, members of unincorporated entities and partners in a partnership where they do not have Canada Revenue Agency business numbers, may be collected used and disclosed to, amongst other things, verify compliance with other provincial and federal funding initiatives, confirm the information provided, verify eligibility and ensure there is no duplication of funding or surplus funding.
  • The information provided may, with the exception of the SIN, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario) or the Access to Information Act (Canada).
  • Any money received under the Program is for the administration of a social or economic program or for the provision of direct or indirect support to members of the public in connection with social and economic policy.

By submitting the form, the applicant agrees to the following on behalf of the business:

  • To provide accurate, timely and full information, including supporting documentation, to Ontario and to notify Ontario immediately in the event there are any material changes to the information already provided.
  • To provide Ontario and their authorized representatives with any information or access to a person, place or thing within the timelines provided by Ontario or its authorized representatives.
  • To comply with onsite field inspections and/or audits by Ontario and Ontario's authorized representatives upon notice, and during normal business hours, to verify eligibility, and to evaluate compliance with the requirements of the Program.
  • To comply with reviews by Ontario of information related to other programs and initiatives delivered by, or for, Ontario in which the business is enrolled or has applied.
  • The use of the business' name and contact information by Ontario to contact the business for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of programming, or for any other similar purpose.
  • To acknowledge Ontario's support in the following manner where the business receives funding under this Program: "The Agri-Tech Innovation Cost-Share program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural"

In the event of a conflict, error, omission or inconsistency between anything set out in Guidelines, the Application Form, the Declaration and the Minister's Order 0004/2020 under which this Program were created, the Minister's Order will prevail.

Errors and Omissions Excepted.

Technology Readiness Level Scale

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) describe the different stages of pre-commercial development. Technology Readiness Levels definitions, descriptions and examples below:

Description: Stages of component(s)/subsystem(s) development, or overall system maturity description at each level, and benchmark measures of system performance capability.

Examples of Activities: Typically, occur when the technology is within the respective level and activities occur and are completed before to the start of the next level.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Description Example of Activities
1 Basic principles observed and reported Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development (R&D). Activities might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties.
2 Technology concept and/or application formulated Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. Applications are speculative, and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions. Activities are limited to analytic studies
3 Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept Active R&D is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate the analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Activities include components that are not yet integrated or representative.
4 Component(s)/subsystem(s) and/or process validation in a laboratory environment Basic technological components are integrated to establish that they will work together. Activities include integration of "ad hoc" hardware in the laboratory.
5 Semi-integrated component(s)/subsystem(s) and/or process validation in a simulated environment The basic technological components are integrated for testing in a simulated environment. Activities include laboratory integration of components
6 System and/or process prototype demonstration in a simulated environment A model or prototype that represents a near desired configuration Activities include testing a model or prototype in a simulated or laboratory environment.
7 Prototype system ready (form, fit, and function) for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment Prototype is ready for demonstration in an operational environment and is at planned operational level Activities include prototype field testing in a real-world operational setting
8 Actual technology completed and qualified through tests and demonstrations Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions Activities include developmental testing and evaluation of whether it will meet operational requirements.
9 Actual technology proven through successful deployment in an operational setting Actual application of the technology in its final form and under real-life conditions, such as those encountered in operational tests and evaluations. Activities include using the innovation under operational conditions

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Definitions:

Proof of Concept: Analytical and experimental demonstration of hardware/software concepts that may or may not be incorporated into subsequent development and/or operational unit.
Model: A reduced scale, functional form of a system, near or at operational specification. Models will be sufficiently hardened to allow demonstration of the technical and operational capabilities required of the final system.
Prototype: The first early representation of the system which offers the expected functionality and performance expected of the final implementation. Prototypes will be sufficiently hardened to allow demonstration of the technical and operational capabilities required of the final system.
Laboratory Environment: An environment that does not address in any manner the environment to be encountered by the system, subsystem(s), or component(s) (hardware or software) during its intended operation. Tests in a laboratory environment are solely for the purpose of demonstrating the underlying principles of technical performance (functions), without respect to the impact of environment.
Simulated Environment: Not all system(s), subsystem(s), and/or component(s) need to be operated in the operational environment in order to satisfactory address performance margin requirements. Simulated environment can simulate an operational environment, or key aspects thereof, to determine whether an innovation is ready for a test, which is not necessarily final end-user environment. It is an environment that focuses specifically on "stressing" the technology advance in question.
Operational Environment: The environment in which the final product will be operated. For software, the environment will be defined by the operational platform.


Program Category Description - Early Adopters - This intake is now closed

Purpose of Program Category

Funding of projects to implement Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology that will reduce the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission among agri-food workers by shifting away from labour-intensive work practices or processes.

Target Audience

Farm or Processor businesses that involve intensive use of labour where workers operate in close proximity to one another and, that are ready to implement Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology in order to address the main risk factor of potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission among agri-food workers, by shifting away from labour intensive work practices or processes. See "Who Can Apply?" below for more information on eligibility.

Preference is given to projects in the following at-risk sectors:

  • Farm Businesses:
    • Greenhouse (e.g. edible horticulture, floriculture)
    • Field nursery
    • Horticulture Field Crops (e.g. asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, carrots, ginseng)
    • Tree Fruit and Tender Fruit (e.g. apples, plums, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes and apricots)
    • Mushrooms
  • Processor Businesses:
    • Federally Registered or Provincially licensed meat processing and meat product manufacturing plants
    • Bakeries and Tortilla manufacturing
    • Sugar and confectionary product manufacturing
    • Primary food processing for vegetable and fruit crops. (Primary food processing involves primary post harvest process including but not limited to: cleaning, cutting, packaging, storage and refrigeration of raw plant foods to ensure that they are not spoiled before they reach the consumer).
  • *Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology means semi or fully automated, robotic or digitized technology that would reduce the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission and replace/reduce labour intensive primary agri-food or manufacturing production steps or processes.
  • For greater certainty, upgrades to existing equipment models that do not advance the level of automation and reduce the necessity for workers to be in close proximity, will not be considered to be Advanced Automation or Manufacturing.

Who Can Apply?

In order to be eligible, an applicant must be either a farm or processing business as outlined below:

  1. An established Farm Business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption
  2. An established Processor Business that is a legal entity that handles agricultural commodities, food, beverage or agri-based products in Ontario. This includes primary food processing, i.e. businesses that manufacture products that cut, clean, package, store and refrigerate raw plant food.

Eligible Farm or Processor businesses must:

  • Be Adopting an Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology; and:
  • Be and remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law for the duration of the project
  • Have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification (PID) Number for the business location where the project is to take place
  • Provide a Canada Revenue Agency Business Number as part of the application process, if applicable; and
  • Be capable of entering into a funding agreement with the Province of Ontario and meeting their obligations under it

Not Eligible to Apply

Without limitation, the following farm and processing businesses are not eligible for cost-share funding:

  • Restaurants and food services, including catering services
  • Retail food services or operations
  • Packaging material manufacturers
  • Food Premises as defined by the Health Promotion and Protection Act that are not Provincially Licensed or Federally registered
  • Pet food manufacturers
  • Cigarette manufacturers
  • Businesses that process household waste or household waste by-products

Eligible Projects

Projects that will lead to the adoption of Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology that support the following outcomes:

  • Allow businesses to shift away from labour-intensive work practices or processes to help prevent the exposure and transmission of COVID-19, and
  • Address at least one of the following labour-related project impacts:
    • Allow business to focus redeployment of workers to higher value-added activities
    • Reduce the ongoing labour shortage pressures in the sector
    • Attract more highly skilled labour to businesses within the sector
    • Increase the productivity

Examples of Eligible Projects:

The following are examples of projects that may be eligible for Farm business applicants:

  • Adoption and integration of an automated rack handling system and seeding machines in a greenhouse setting
  • Adoption and use of a fully automated optical grading system with visually guided robotics for the grading and sorting of vegetables replacing manual grading/sorting
  • Adoption of solar powered autonomous robotic vineyard pruning robots with optical/spectral guidance systems in place of manual pruning
  • Adoption of semi-autonomous or autonomous self-propelled transplanters replacing manual/mechanical processes where distancing employees is difficult

The following are examples of projects that may be eligible for Processor business applicants:

  • Installation and training staff on the use of a robotic deboning machine for whole chicken legs replacing labour intensive manual cutting and deboning stations
  • Adoption and use of a fully automated optical packing system with visually guided robotics for the sorting and packing of product replacing manual packing/sorting

Cost-Share Funding and Project Size:

  • 35% of eligible costs for eligible projects, up to a maximum of $100,000 per business
  • To be eligible for funding, projects must have a minimum total project value of $150,000.

How to Apply

  • The application and required documentation must be submitted by June 21, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. EST. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Required Documentation to be submitted with your completed application

  • Quote(s) detailing the costs of eligible technology or equipment and, if applicable, the software necessary for technology integration
  • Quote(s) or proposal(s) from third-party organizations or consultants, detailing services to be provided, and costs

Project Start and Completion Dates

An eligible project cannot start prior to the date that OMAFRA approves the project. This date will be communicated in an Approval Letter to a successful applicant after its application has been assessed. To be eligible for reimbursement, costs can only be incurred, invoiced and paid for on or after the start date set out in the Approval Letter and before the project completion date.

Projects must be implemented and completed no later November 30, 2022, and in accordance with all the other terms and conditions of the Contribution Agreement between the Province of Ontario and a successful applicant.

How often can I apply?

Applicants can only submit one application per business, per program category.

Application Assessment Process

Applications that meet eligibility criteria are assessed using merit assessment criteria. A merit-based application review process is used to allocate the funding that is available to projects that best meet merit assessment criteria. Only applications that best meet the merit assessment criteria will be approved.

Merit Assessment Criteria:

Applications will be assessed against the extent to which:

  • Project relates to an at-risk sector
  • Business needs for the project are demonstrated and quantified
  • All project components are directly linked to Adopting Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology
  • All project components are directly related to a shift away from labour-intensive work practices or processes to prevent the spread of COVID-19
    • Relevant business impacts are identified and quantified, such as but not limited to:
      • Reduced COVID-19 exposure and transmission risks
      • Reduced labour intensity
      • Increased productivity
  • The Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology is innovative (meaning it and technology similar in function, purpose or use, has been adopted by less than 20 per cent of the sector in Ontario to date), and substantiated by independent documentation (e.g. letter(s) from credible industry association or experts, academic sources or unbiased studies or market analysis)
  • Resources, experience and skills necessary to oversee and carry out the project are identified
  • The project workplan is clearly defined and aligns to project outcomes
  • The project budget is described in sufficient detail, is reasonable, and is in alignment with the project and substantiated by supporting documentation (e.g. quotes, proposals).

Eligible Activities and Expenditures

Eligible activities and expenditures are costs that are necessary for the implementation of the project. For greater clarity, eligible activities and expenditures are those set out below:

  • Equipment costs (including shipping and delivery costs) and installation or configuration costs required for Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology
    • Equipment must all be onsite and fully operational by the project completion date identified in the Contribution Agreement
  • One-time costs for rental of equipment required for installation of eligible equipment approved by OMAFRA.
  • Engineering or professional services for implementation of eligible equipment
    • Costs related to essential travel from out of province engineers or technicians necessary for the implementation of the eligible equipment, specifically meals and mileage (in accordance with the province's Travel, Meal and Hospitality Directive and in compliance with any exemptions from any federal, provincial or municipal COVID-19 related travel restrictions)
  • Costs of development and/or translation of automation or manufacturing policies and procedural manuals for the technology adopted under the approved project. Examples include health and safety policies, feedback systems, preventative maintenance procedures, standard operational procedures such as processing standards (e.g. time, temperature, speed, etc.) and employee scheduling systems
  • Third-party costs associated with training key personnel on project-related to new technology
  • Costs of software and software customization necessary for integration of advanced automation or manufacturing technology
  • In order to be eligible, applicants must:
    • Follow a procurement process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money at competitive market prices. Eligible expenses will be reimbursed only after all discounts available to an applicant have been applied.
    • All businesses from which goods or services are purchased must be at Arm's Length from the applicant, meaning that they are not related to the applicant, not affiliated with the applicant, or controlled in any way by the applicant.
    • All procured equipment funded under this program must be intended for exclusive and permanent use in facilities in Ontario.

Ineligible Activities and Expenditures:

  • Costs and activities associated with an expansion of or to a new or existing facility that is not specifically required for the implementation of eligible equipment
  • Ordinary costs of business' existing staff and on-going business
  • Ongoing software, extended warranties or service costs for the continued operation of the equipment post implementation
  • Costs related to activities that are only intended to achieve increased capacity or production output and will not implement advanced or innovative technology, enhance the protection of workers' health and safety against COVID-19, lead to increased business efficiencies and productivity
  • Costs related to implementing or upgrading Enterprise Resource Planning systems
  • Costs of equipment or components that are ancillary to the operation of eligible technology or equipment, meaning providing support, however not necessary to implement or operate eligible technology or equipment (e.g., pumps, boilers, conveyers)
  • Costs for facility changes, upgrades or modifications that are required for the eligible technology or equipment
  • Costs of improving air flow to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission in the labour-intensive work area
  • Ongoing material or input costs required for normal production
  • Travel and meal costs, except as permitted for engineering or professional services
  • In-kind contributions
  • Costs incurred in preparing an application for the Program
  • Projects that are in whole or in part located outside of Ontario
  • Costs incurred before the approval date for the project by OMAFRA or after the project completion date identified in the Contribution Agreement
  • Any cost that is unreasonable, improperly incurred or not specifically required for implementation of the project
  • Normal costs of establishing, expanding or operating a business
  • Normal costs of implementation of a facility expansion
  • Deposits (prepayments) for which goods or services are not yet fully received
  • Consultant and other contractor expenses for any hospitality (e.g., provision of food or beverages at events), incidentals or food
  • Hospitality costs (e.g., venue rental, food, beverages, AV, etc.)
  • Costs to purchase or lease land, building or facilities
  • Financing charges, loan and lease interest payments, bank fees and charges as well as debt restructuring or fundraising
  • Costs of gifts and incentives
  • Permits and other regulatory approvals
  • Legal fees
  • Costs related to activities that directly influence or lobby any level of government
  • Costs of basic research
  • Taxes, including Harmonized Sales Tax
  • Eligible costs that are reimbursed through a refund or rebate the applicant receives or is eligible to receive

Stacking Cost-share Funding

  • Stacking of Agri-Tech Innovation cost-share funding with funding under provincial programs or the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is not permitted.
  • Applicants can stack cost-share funding from other Federal cost-share funding programs only, assuming stacking is permitted under the applicable federal program(s). However, combined federal cost-sharing funding and Agri-Tech Innovation cost-share funding cannot exceed 85% of a project's eligible costs. All project funding sources (including stacking with Federal programs) must be disclosed in the application form.

Projects Not Eligible:

  • Projects that are not eligible for cost-share funding include those that:
    • Do not fit the eligible project category description
    • Support normal operating costs associated with carrying out business or increasing production capacity
    • Have the sole purpose of coming into or maintaining compliance with Requirements of the Law that pertain to current operations
    • Do not result in direct implementation of Advanced Automation or Manufacturing technology
    • Are piloting or trialing Advanced Automation or manufacturing Technology for research and design purposes and are not intending to integrate the technology into ongoing production practices or processes
    • Involve directly influencing or lobbying any level of government
    • Are located in whole or in part outside of Ontario

How will I be notified of a funding decision?

  • Applicants will be notified by email once applications have been reviewed and decisions have been made. There are two possible outcomes:
    • If the application is approved - the applicant will:
      • Receive an Approval Letter with details (e.g. maximum value of funding approved, earliest approved project start date)
      • Be required to enter into a Contribution Agreement with the Province of Ontario and follow all of its terms and conditions. No payments will be made to the successful applicant until the Agreement has been signed.
      • Receive confirmation of claim procedures and submission deadlines, and a final report that must be completed at the end of the project
      • Be required to register your business information in the Transfer Payment Ontario system or update your business information if already registered
      • Be required to register to receive direct deposit payments through Supply Chain Ontario
    • If the application is declined - the applicant will receive a notification confirming that the assessment has been completed and a brief explanation for the decision.

Claiming Funding for Approved Projects

When is Funding Paid?
  • Approved funding is paid after the applicant has incurred and paid for expenses and has submitted a claim package that meets all requirements and has been approved by OMAFRA.
  • Each eligible expenditure is reimbursed at the approved cost-share funding percentage.
  • There will be a 10 per cent holdback of reimbursement until a Final Report for the project is received and approved by OMAFRA. The Final Report submitted for the project must include a certification that the project has been completed within the project timelines stated in the Contribution Agreement, and the project must fulfil all other requirements stated in the Contribution Agreement.
How is a Claim Submitted?
  • Claims must be submitted to OMAFRA no later than the deadline date given in the Contribution Agreement.
  • OMAFRA may request any additional information from the applicant that is deemed necessary (e.g., copies of any permits obtained by the applicant in conducting the project, photos).
  • What your claim package must contain:
    • Completed claim form
    • Copies of all paid invoices
    • Proofs of payment
  • Each proof of payment submitted for a paid invoice must verify:
    • What was procured
    • Who paid
    • Who received payment
    • The amount of payment
    • The date of payment

Proof of payment may be any one of the following:

  • Copy of front and back of posted cheque (i.e. an electronic image of processed cheque)
  • Statement from banking institution indicating to whom the processed cheque was written, or electronic payment made, and for what amount
  • Credit card or debit card receipt or statement clearly identifying amount and to whom the payment was made. Credit card or debit card numbers and other information, including costs that are unrelated to the project, should be blacked out.

Travel and Meal Expenses

Travel and meal expenses may be eligible for funding for some projects where out of province travel related to engineering and professional services are required for the implementation of eligible equipment, provided that that travel is undertaken in accordance with any COVID-19 related travel restrictions. Travel and meal costs must be identified and approved as such in the application for an approved project.

Eligible funding for travel and meal expenses for an approved project may be claimed when the most economical transportation and accommodation (i.e., single accommodation in a standard room) is chosen.

Travel - the maximum eligible costs for personal vehicles driven within Ontario are:

Number of Kilometres Southern Ontario ($/km) Northern Ontario ($/km)
0-4,000 km 0.40 0.41
4,001-10,700 km 0.35 0.36
10,701-24,000 km 0.29 0.30
More than 24,000 km 0.24 0.25

Meals - Reimbursement for meal expenses is subject to the maximum eligible cost value set out in the tables below. Original, itemized receipts are required, and the eligible cost value will not exceed the actual amount spent. Taxes and gratuities are included in the maximum eligible cost value. Reimbursement is for restaurant/prepared food only and not available for alcohol purchases.

Maximum eligible costs for meals in Canada (CAD):

Meal Type Maximum Eligible Costs
Breakfast $10.00
Lunch $12.50
Dinner $22.50

Definitions of terms used in these Guidelines

Advanced Automation or Manufacturing Technology: means semi or fully automated, robotized or digitized technology that would reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission or replace/reduce labour intensive primary agri-food or manufacturing production steps or processes
Approval Letter: A letter, sent by email from OMAFRA, that is a notification of a conditional approval and sets out information including the amount of approved cost-share funding, project start date and project completion date
Arm's Length: An entity is considered to be at Arm's Length if they are not related, not affiliated persons, or otherwise controlled by another member or members. Refer to Section 251 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) for the provisions to determine Arm's Length relationships. If you have any questions about whether a supplier meets this requirement, please contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300
Contribution Agreement: A legal agreement that successful applicants must enter into with the Province of Ontario, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, if the project is approved and the applicant agrees to receive funding. The legal agreement contains the terms and conditions that the applicant must comply with to receive cost-share funding
Incurred Cost: A cost for which a successful applicant has become liable to pay that is necessary for the successful completion of their project under the Initiative
Merit Assessment Criteria: Criteria used to establish the level of merit for funding of each eligible application, as set out in the merit assessment criteria in the guide
Project Category: Cost-share funding is made available under specific Project Categories, which each have their own parameters, criteria, and terms and conditions
Project Category Description: Each Project Category Description provides the parameters, criteria and terms and conditions specific to a Project Category under which cost-share funding is made available
Requirements of Law: All applicable Requirements of Law, as may be set out in statutes, regulations, by-laws, codes, rules, ordinances, official plans, approvals, permits, licenses, authorizations, decrees, injunctions, orders and declarations, or any other similar Requirement of Law

Application Declaration

In order to be considered for funding under the Agri-tech Innovation Cost-Share Program ('the Initiative), an eligible business must agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions herein.

The business must be a legal entity that meets all eligibility requirements as set out above and in Minister's Order Number 0004/2020. The eligible business is referred to as "the business" below.

The individual who submits the application form must be a person who is authorized by the business to submit the form on its behalf and to bind it to the contents herein.

By submitting the form, the individual is certifying to:

  • Having read, understood and abided by all Program requirements, as well as being in agreement to continue to abide by all Program requirements. These requirements include that:
    • All information submitted on the application form is true and complete, to the best of your knowledge, belief and understanding.
    • The business is in compliance with all Requirements of the Law
    • Amounts of funding sourced from federal government for a submitted expense do not, and will not, exceed 85 per cent of the amount of the expense.
    • The business does not currently owe any money to Ontario, or a description of any the business' debt to Ontario is attached to the application form.
    • No officer, director or employee of the business, or other beneficiary of the expenses, is a current or former federal public office holder or federal public servant, or, if any officer, director or employee of the business is a current or former federal public officer holder or federal public servant, they are in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, as applicable.

In addition, the applicant is certifying that the business entity:

  • Will retain all records relating to any payments made to the business, including all invoices and proof of payment in an organized and business-like manner for at least seven (7) years from the date the application form was submitted.
  • Will consent to Ontario publishing information about the project ('Activities') funded including without limitation, the amount of funding the business has been approved to receive and/or has received, and the nature and results of any Activities funded, along with the business' name and location.
  • Will use as part of its project and retain ownership, possession and control of any tangible asset with a fair market value of over $10,000 purchased, contributed, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired by the business under this Program for at least two years following acquisition. For greater certainty, this includes refraining from leasing or otherwise encumbering these tangible assets. Further, 'fair market value' means the highest price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable, informed and willing parties acting at arm's length, who are under no compulsion to transact.

By submitting the form, the applicant acknowledges and accepts that:

  • Ontario has reserved the right to refuse the application form where it is not completed to Ontario's satisfaction.
  • Funding is provided through a discretionary, non-entitlement program and that the business is not entitled to funding merely as a consequence of submitting an application form. Payment, if any, is subject to Ontario having sufficient money within its existing budget, including receiving all the necessary appropriations from the Ontario Legislature; the business and the business' Activities satisfying eligibility criteria and eligible expense criteria; and the business' compliance with all these terms and conditions. If it is determined that the business received a payment it was not eligible to receive, through administrative error or otherwise, it will repay any and all payments that the business was not eligible to receive as well as any surplus funding in full promptly upon demand.
  • Any payments made to the business may be subject to recovery or offset against the business' pre-existing debts to the Crown in Right of Ontario. Ontario may also charge interest on any money owing by the business at the then current rate charged by Ontario on their respective accounts receivable.
  • Ontario including the respective Ministers, directors, officers, agents, employees or representatives (as applicable), shall not be liable for any injury, damages or losses whatsoever, or howsoever arising, including injury, damages or losses arising from any advice, opinions, representations, warranties or the provision of information it may provide to the Applicant.
  • The rights and obligations under the Program are governed by Ontario law. The Courts of Ontario will have exclusive jurisdiction over any proceedings related to the Program.
  • The information provided may be used and disclosed to conduct audits, enforce the terms and conditions of the Program, confirm that the person in receipt of payments under the Program paid taxes on the payments, and collect any debt owing.
  • The information, with the exception of the Social Insurance Number (SIN) provided by sole proprietors, members of unincorporated entities and partners in a partnership where they do not have Canada Revenue Agency business numbers, may be collected used and disclosed to, amongst other things, verify compliance with other provincial and federal funding initiatives, confirm the information provided, verify eligibility and ensure there is no duplication of funding or surplus funding.
  • The information provided may, with the exception of the SIN, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario) or the Access to Information Act (Canada).
  • Any money received under the Program is for the administration of a social or economic program or for the provision of direct or indirect support to members of the public in connection with social and economic policy.

By submitting the form, the individual is consenting to the following on behalf of the business:

  • To provide accurate, timely and full information, including supporting documentation, to Ontario and to notify Ontario immediately in the event there are any material changes to the information already provided.
  • To provide Ontario and their authorized representatives with any information or access to a person, place or thing within the timelines provided by Ontario or its authorized representatives.
  • To comply with onsite field inspections and/or audits by Ontario and Ontario's authorized representatives upon notice, and during normal business hours, to verify eligibility, and to evaluate compliance with the requirements of the Program.
  • To comply with reviews by Ontario of information related to other programs and initiatives delivered by, or for, Ontario in which the business is enrolled or has applied.
  • The use of the business' name and contact information by Ontario to contact the business for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of programming, or for any other similar purpose.
  • To acknowledge Ontario's support in the following manner where the business receives funding under this Program: "The Agri-Tech Innovation Cost-Share program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural"

In the event of a conflict, error, omission or inconsistency between anything set out in Guidelines, the Application Form, the Declaration and the Minister's Order 0004/2020 under which this Program were created, the Minister's Order will prevail.

Errors and Omissions Excepted.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca