SAINT JEAN SUR RICHELIEU, Quebec – The government of Canada is seeking proposals for “large-scale disruptive approaches” to automation and digital technology applications in the agriculture and agri-food industries as part of a new funding competition. A successful applicant will receive funding of between C$10 million and C$50 million.

The government is looking for proposals that:

  • solve problems through the use of data and technology in the agriculture and agri-food sector, such as automation and robotics, precision agriculture platforms, data and digital solutions, sensors, interconnected software and hardware, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain;
  • include collaborations between businesses (including small and medium-sized enterprises), post-secondary institutions, research institutes, and non‑profit organizations from multiple sectors across Canada;
  • generate strong economic and social benefits, such as private sector investments in R&D, the creation of new intellectual property and innovations, and the development and implementation of new products, processes and services; and
  • bring about positive environmental impacts, such as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, water usage and energy consumption.

“Digital innovation and technologies have the power to improve food safety, reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture and food production, and create good middle-class jobs,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Our government is taking action to ensure our agriculture and agri-food sectors continue to punch above their weight in a competitive global market while delivering good, healthy and sustainable food to Canadians and international markets at a fair price.”

Applicants must submit a Declaration of Intent by Jan. 11, 2019. A full application for funding is due by March 1, 2019. The government will post declarations of intent online to spur collaboration among potential applicants.

“Through this exciting new competition, we’re bringing together the best of Canada’s digital technology, agriculture and agri-food sectors to create new solutions and opportunities in a fast-changing global market,” said Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “By doing so, we’re ensuring Canadians are well positioned to lead and create jobs in the digital economy for middle-class families.”