Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Technology Solutions

Table of Contents

Productivity Pilots and Demonstrations of New Technology

Purpose of Project Category

Projects will focus on promoting, piloting and demonstrating new and innovative technologies related to labour saving technology or practices, and/or waste reduction, and/or increased efficiency. Projects must demonstrate benefits that increase the competitiveness in the broader agri-food and agri-products sector of Ontario.

Target Audience

Partners along the agri-food and agri-products value chain that are supporting commodities heavily impacted by a changing business environment (e.g., horticulture, greenhouse and food processors), as well as those supporting emerging or high growth commodities are focuses under this project category. Preference will be given to projects focused on piloting or demonstrating technology and equipment, which is new and innovative to Ontario to date, or equipment upgrades in Northern Ontario or Indigenous Partner businesses, which may or may not be new or innovative in Ontario.

Eligible Projects

  • Pilot of new and innovative technology - Pilot projects must demonstrate that the lab or theoretical research is done, and a commercial application is envisioned. (A pilot project is the step between bench research and full-scale commercial application and tests on a scale that might not be commercially viable but would allow for testing under close to real world conditions. It forms part of the 'scaling-up' process and allows verification that the technology still works outside the lab.)
  • Demonstration projects of new technologies - Demonstration projects must demonstrate and/or validate at a real-world scale, new technologies, concepts, business processes, marketing approaches, or systems, in order to demonstrate, test, and/or assess the technological and economic feasibility of innovative solutions. Demonstration projects can also be one-time, event-based activities that extend knowledge gained from research and/or demonstrate a technology.
  • Projects must include components of outreach strategies and/or knowledge acquisition and knowledge sharing

Examples of projects

  • Pilot project testing the benefit of automating a labour intensive process
  • Demonstration project of newly proven productivity enhancing technology

Project Category Priorities

  • Projects must include an audit, assessment or labour productivity plan that demonstrates the need and impact of the project in addressing current deficiencies, opportunities and risks
  • Projects must include baseline Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for productivity, energy usage and waste management
  • Applicants who can demonstrate they have a high growth and/or emerging market opportunity that is significantly above industry average growth and/or growth potential or a brand new market opportunity with little/few previous sales, but with potential (rationale/justification as to how they fit should be provided-industry data, statistics and/or other analysis would be beneficial to support the fit)
  • Projects implementing upgrades that are new or novel in Ontario (technological or equipment upgrades at Northern Ontario or Indigenous communities may or may not be new or novel in Ontario)
  • Projects that quantify the relevant industry/business impacts, such as: reduced identified risks, job creation or retention, increased sales and revenue, increased profitability, etc.
  • Projects that include third party data gathering and validation that can be used by the broader industry to increase the awareness and adoption of the new technology
  • Projects that focus on and demonstrate labour productivity benefits and savings
  • Projects that demonstrate the anticipated adoption/use in the broader sector
  • Multi-year projects that demonstrate the technology will results in financial sustainability
  • Projects from Indigenous communities
  • Projects from Northern Ontario communities(Northern Ontario for the purposes of this program is consistent with the definition in the Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy)

Recommended Cost-share

  • Up to $250,000 per project

Eligible Activities

  • Purchase of capital related to new processing 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 or to enable installation of automation and labour-saving equipment and technology
  • Development of new or translation of existing manufacturing policies, feedback systems, preventative maintenance procedures and standard operational procedures, such as processing standards (time, temperature, speed etc.); proactive, preventative maintenance routines; and employee scheduling systems
  • Waste stream processes, equipment or technology upgrades to reduce wastewater (volume and strength) or other wastes such as ingredients or finished product

Ineligible Activities

  • Activities not related to labour saving technology or practices, waste reduction, or increased efficiency

Terms & Conditions


Logos of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Government of Ontario, and the Government of Canada.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 17 January 2018
Last Reviewed: 28 February 2019