Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 10, 2011 11:52 ET

Turning New Ideas Into Competitive Advantage for Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector

SAINT-HYACINTHE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2011) - The Government of Canada is investing in long-term growth and competitiveness of Canada's agricultural and agri-food sector. Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, announced today, at the same time as Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in Regina, a $50 million investment that will boost the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies and processes in the agricultural sector.

"Investing in innovation helps the agriculture sector exploit new, emerging opportunities and secure an increasing share in the marketplace," said Mr. Gourde. "Support for local initiatives will help bring innovative solutions directly to producers and communities, which is extremely important for the growth of the economy in Quebec and Canada."

The Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) will support industry-led science and technology projects that bridge the gap between ideas and discoveries, and products in the marketplace. Making the innovative value-added products, technologies, processes and services commercially available will help the Canadian agri-based sector increase employment and revenues and reduce production costs.

AIP is a national program but will provide support for local initiatives to help address specific pre-commercialization issues or opportunities. It builds on the Government of Canada's success in promoting industry leadership, creating jobs, and increasing profitability in a highly competitive global economy by generating the ideas and technologies that will deliver opportunities to farmers and industry through new products and markets. The investment will help leverage private sector resources, which are key to ensuring prosperity and competitiveness of our agriculture sector.

The funding for the Agricultural Innovation Program is part of the government's commitment to ensure that Canadian producers remain at the cutting edge of science and technology, announced in Budget 2011 as part of the next phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

For more information about the Agricultural Innovation Program and other AAFC programs please visit, or call 1-877-246-4682.


Innovation and commercialization of new products and technologies is key for long-term growth, profitability and global competitiveness of the Canadian agricultural sector. Turning innovative ideas into practical applications helps the sector – from manufacturers and supplier to producers – capitalize on emerging market opportunities, increase the share of existing markets and improve profitability.

The Agricultural Innovation Program brings stakeholders together to work on research, development, commercialization and adoption of new products, technologies, processes and services. The $50 million program ending on March 31, 2013, will provide funding through two streams:

  • Knowledge Creation and Transfer will fund projects that accelerate the research and development, application and transfer of knowledge and technologies in the sector; and

  • Commercialization will fund projects that support the competitiveness, sustainability and adaptability of the sector by increasing the rate of successful commercialization and adoption of agri-based innovations in Canada.

The Knowledge Creation and Transfer Stream will provide agri-entrepreneurs, firms and organizations greater access to government, university and other resources required to support successful transformation of innovative ideas into viable business ventures. The non-repayable funding will support knowledge creation and transfer and faster pre-commercialization development of new agri-practices, products and processes.

This stream will fund projects under two separate segments:

  • Innovation Strategy Development will fund activities which facilitate national value chain development including consultations, market research, business planning, communications, workshops, administration and coordination services; and

  • Applied Science, Technology Development and Piloting Projects will fund activities that foster collaboration between the private sector and/or academic labs in accessing the applied scientific research and development expertise and resources needed to accelerate the development of new products, practices and processes. Projects will lead to the successful transformation of innovative ideas and prototypes into new technologies.

The Commercialization Stream will provide for-profit companies, co-operatives and organizations with repayable funding for agri-based projects that:

  • commercialize and/or adopt innovative agricultural, agri-food or agri-based products, technologies, processes and services;

  • establish, expand, or modernize a facility to commercialize or adopt such innovative agricultural, agri-food or agri-based products, technologies, processes or services for domestic and/or international markets; and

  • implement marketing opportunities related to the commercialization or adoption project.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Margaux Stastny
    Director of Operations
    The Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis