The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program (CBCAIP) will help B.C agri-food producers, value-added food processors, academia, and others in the agri-food sector to accelerate the pace of innovation along the innovation continuum.

From food production and food safety, to renewable fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural innovation is crucial for developing solutions to some of today’s most pressing issues. This five-year Federal-Provincial cost-shared program, funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, supports the acceleration of agricultural innovation through late-stage research and pilot projects that lead to the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes and practices. This program’s intended outcome is to advance innovation, competitiveness, sustainability, productivity, and resiliency within the agricultural sector in B.C.

This program defines agricultural innovation as products, practices, processes or technologies that are new to British Columbia and that will enhance the competitiveness, sustainability, productivity and/or resiliency of the sector.

There are no prescribed funding limits for a project; rather the scope of the project and its score against the application evaluation criteria will be used to determine the funding contribution. Further, there are no prescribed cost share ratios for a project, however the program contribution to a project will not exceed 75 percent of the cash costs of a project.

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Program Goals

The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program (CBCAIP) is designed to accelerate the pace of innovation to enhance the competitiveness, sustainability, productivity, and resiliency of the sector within B.C.
This program meets commitments under the Science, Research, and Innovation priority area of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership by investing in projects that include the following priorities:

  • Investments in applied science for major commodities within the sector;
  • Improved support for minor sector commodities and emerging and transformative areas, including agri-tech;
  • Enhanced efforts in clean growth, environment, and climate change;
  • Accelerating the growth of the sector, particularly in agri-food and value-added food processing sectors; and
  • Strengthening knowledge transfer and adoption activities of projects.
Solar panels in a field

The Application Process

Applicants are required to complete a two-step application process. A Statement of Interest must be submitted between August 31, 2021 and September 23rd, 2021 with shortlisted candidates being invited to complete a full application between November 9th, 2021 and December 2nd, 2021.

Step 1: Statement of Interest

The purpose of the SOI is to determine the eligibility of your organization for funding and the eligibility of the project concept. SOIs will be reviewed and those shortlisted will be invited to complete a full application.

The SOI will require you to provide:

  • Applicant information
  • Project theme and innovation type
  • Stage on the innovation continuum
  • A concise project description
  • Project cost and funding requested
  • Proposed benefits / impacts

SOIs will be accepted through the IAF Application Portal. To complete an SOI you will be required to:

  1. Create a user profile
  2. Register your organization
  3. Determine your eligibility
  4. Complete the SOI online form

IAF will review all SOI for organization and project eligibility. All applicants will be notified on the outcome of the SOI by the end of October 2021. Only those short-listed will be invited to complete a full application.

Step 2: Full Application

The purpose of the full application is to solicit all information required for funding decision. Applications will be reviewed and scored against the application evaluation criteria with the highest scoring projects being funded.

The Full Application will require you to provide:

  • A detailed project description that outlines project objectives, key activities, intended benefits and a communications plan.
  • A detailed project budget with cost-shared funding sources identified.

Applications will be accepted through the IAF Application Portal. To complete a full application you will be required to:

  1. Log into the portal using your user profile
  2. Enter some high-level project information on the application portal
  3. Download, complete and upload an application form (MS Word) and budget template (MS Excel)
  4. Submit your application

All applications received by the deadline will be collectively reviewed and evaluated based on merit. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Applicants are encouraged to include only activities that they are confident will be completed on time and within budget limits.

Support

IAF is here to support you with the online two-step application process. Details of how to access the SOI (and full application) and any associated supporting documentation will be made available on this webpage.

Short-listed SOIs that are invited to submit a full application will be offered one consultation call with an IAF staff member to discuss project activities and eligible expenses. More information on how to book this call will be provided directly to those short-listed.

Timeline

Who’s Eligible?

To be eligible, applicants must be appropriately registered, licensed and/or certified to conduct business in British Columbia.

  • B.C. agriculture and agri-food sector producers and processors
  • Industry associations/organizations
  • Retailers, wholesalers and input, technology and support service suppliers
  • Primary Sector – other (e.g. auction yards, fairs, warehouse storage, transporters, importer)
  • Processing Sector – other (e.g. distributors, warehouse storage, transporters, importers)
  • Value Chains (e.g. producer-processor-distributor)
  • Research bodies, academic institutions and/or other research organizations
  • Local governments
  • Non-timber forest resource harvesters and wildcrafters
  • NGO/non-profit groups
  • Indigenous Peoples and other under-represented groups
Wind turbines in bc, mountains in background

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include late-stage research and development; piloting and demonstration; and commercialization and adoption of innovative (new-to-B.C.) products, practices, processes, or technologies.

Eligible activities may include but are not limited to:

  • Investments in applied science for major commodities within the sector;
  • Improved support for minor sector commodities and emerging and transformative areas, including agri-tech;
  • Enhanced efforts in clean growth, environment, and climate change;
  • Accelerating the growth of the sector, particularly in agri-food and value-added food processing sectors; and
  • Strengthening knowledge transfer and adoption activities of projects funded under the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program.

Eligible Costs

Direct expenditures required to implement the project are eligible for cost-sharing. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Cost of goods and services and all related shipping and transportation costs, including but not limited to project and project communication costs;
  • Incremental cost of services, such as salaries and benefits, specific per diem fees, or actual project or program disbursements, including but not limited to salaries and benefits of personnel working directly on the development and delivery of a project, including outreach/extension;
  • Incremental costs for rental or lease of facilities, equipment, or machinery;
  • Costs directly related to the project for accommodations, telecommunications, hospitality and travel, transportation, and shipping that meet applicable government guidelines;
  • Intellectual property registration and intellectual property licensing fees related to commercialization;
  • Non-reimbursable portion of the Goods and Services Tax (GST);
  • Eligible capital when integral to the completion of a project; and
  • Translation of information to the public.

Industry cost-sharing is recommended and seen as a valuable indicator of support. There are no prescribed funding limits or cost-share ratios for a project; rather, the scope of the project and the degree of cost sharing will be used to determine the funding contribution. The target ratios for cost-sharing are flexible up to a maximum of 75% CBCAIP funding. Target ratios are based on the level of broad benefits and the outcome of the due diligence process. You will be required to contribute more than 25% of the cash costs; the exact amount will be based on several factors, including:

  • Potential to create a tangible benefit to B.C. agriculture sector;
  • Potential to enhance the sector’s competitiveness, productive capacity, and sustainability; and,
  • Degree of company specific benefit versus sector benefit.

Ready to Apply?

Submit your Statement of Interest

Statements of Interest now closed.

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Notifications & Obligations

Funding Contracts

Successful applicants will be expected to enter into an agreement, termed a Contribution Agreement, with IAF, which outlines the obligations of each party for the duration of the project.

Disbursement of Funding

Project deliverables and associated payment schedules will form part of the Contribution Agreement with IAF. Only eligible and previously approved project activities will be considered for reimbursement.

Successful applicants will receive funding retro-actively, based on interim / final project deliverables being met.

Reporting

Progress reports are required at the end of each reporting period. Funding recipients will also be required to submit a Final Report that includes all project deliverables, communications materials, and the resulting short-term and expected long-term impacts of their project. Re-imbursements are made based on progress / final reports being accepted and approved by the IAF Team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Scope and Scale

Your project may source services from outside of B.C. where those services cannot be obtained cost effectively in B.C. (e.g. specialized research and development services or prototype manufacturing services) or are part of a national effort. However, the intent of program is to benefit B.C.’s agriculture and agri-food sector and B.C. residents.  Project benefits retained within B.C. will be considered in project review.

Only B.C. based applicants are eligible to apply for this program.

No, projects and activities related to aquaculture, aquaponics, or seafood processing are not eligible for funding through this program.

Yes, projects and activities related to cannabis are eligible for funding for this program if they meet other program eligibility criteria.

There is up to $1.5 million of funding available for all new projects approved through this intake.

It is up to the applicant to determine their funding request, based on their financial need and budget. Considerations may include:

  • What is the degree of cost sharing requested versus the expected project benefit? For example, projects where a private company is the main beneficiary are recommended to provide more matching funding towards a project than projects with broader benefits (across sector/industry) or where the main benefit are to the public.
  • Does your project show industry support or ‘buy-in’? While industry support or alignment with industry needs can be demonstrated in different ways, contributions from the applicant and project partners are considered in project review.
  • Is the budget reasonable and in line with industry standards? For example, hotel and travel costs in a project are expected to be budget or 3-star equivalent.
  • Does the funding request fit within the amount of program funding available for this intake (up to $1.5 million)?

No, all project activities and expenditures must take place between April 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Any expenditures incurred outside of this time range will not be considered for reimbursement and no project extensions will be considered.

No, all project activities and expenditures must take place between April 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Any expenditures incurred outside of this time range will not be considered for reimbursement and no project extensions will be considered.

No, the program is not able to provide funding towards buying, starting or expanding a business. Applicants to the program should be able to show sufficient revenues/financing to match funding requested and be in operation for at least 24 months prior to applying to the program.

The Application Process

Previous application intakes have been very competitive with funding requested greatly exceeding funding available.

A two-step process was introduced to improve the applicant experience by:

  1. Reducing the time between SOI/full application and decision.
  2. Reducing the number of completed applications that are declined for funding.
  3. Providing more support and guidance to organizations invited to complete a full application.

The purpose of the SOI is to determine the eligibility of your organization for funding and the eligibility of the project concept. SOIs will be reviewed and those shortlisted will be invited to complete a full application.

No, an invitation to complete a full application does not imply that your funding application will be approved. All applications received through this intake will be scored and ranked against program criteria, and only the highest ranked projects will receive funding.

Yes. Each SOI submitted will be reviewed and evaluated separately.

No, all applications for the program must complete an SOI. Only shortlisted SOIs will be invited to complete a full application.

No, SOIs and applications to the program will only be accepted through the IAF Application Portal.

For assistance/questions on the SOI, please contact us via:

innovation@iafbc.ca

For LiveChat please click the icon in the bottom right corner of the window.

For assistance with the IAF application portal, please contact us via:

Email funding@iafbc.ca

For LiveChat please click the icon in the bottom right corner of the window.

Ineligible Activities and Costs

The following projects and costs are not eligible for reimbursement:

  • Projects submitted by ineligible applicants, or non-B.C. based applicants;
  • Feasibility studies or business plans unless approved in writing by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries;
  • Providing funding at levels more than 100% of the Eligible Expenses;
  • Costs related to Sector Infrastructure or Capital Items more than $50,000 unless approved in writing by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries;
  • Assessment of a practice or technology already available or developed through previous projects such as—but not limited to—habitat restoration, upgrades to current systems, stand-alone knowledge transfer events, and stewardship practices;
  • Business Risk Management (BRM)-type activities;
  • Normal and ongoing operating and maintenance costs incurred by recipients (except as otherwise specified in Bilateral Agreements);
  • Use of funding to subsidize purchase of common items that can be used for multiple purposes (e.g., digital cameras, GPS, smartphones, measuring tapes) except as otherwise specified in Bilateral Agreements;
  • Tax credits or rebates;
  • Development and enforcement of regulation;
  • Projects and proposals that are considered long standing practices in the Province;
  • Activities that are unlikely to result in an improvement of product attributes and/or reduce production costs, increase productivity, or advance sustainability of a commodity group or region;
  • Activities that cannot demonstrate a benefit to the regional economy or commodity group;
  • Activities considered a direct income support to a producer or processor;
  • Costs incurred in the delivery of services/activities to ineligible individuals and/or organizations;
  • Activities that do not comply with B.C. and Canadian laws/regulations;
  • Buying, starting or expanding a business;
  • Activities related to seafood, processed seafood, aquaculture and aquaponics;
  • Basic research defined as experimental or theoretical work that is undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without a commercial or specific application; and
  • Lobbying or influencing any level of government.

Full Application Evaluation Criteria

All full applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Project Components

  • Does the project demonstrate innovation? Is this clearly articulated and explained?
  • Are all project activities eligible?
  • Are the activities sufficiently focused?
  • Are the project objectives well defined and realistic within the project timeline and budget?
  • Is the budget consistent with the costs for these types of activities?
  • Has the applicant provided relevant documentation to support the request (e.g., quotes)?
  • Are the project activities taking place in B.C. where possible?
  • Do proposed activities and the communications plan support project objectives?

Performance Measures and Work Plan

  • Does the project align with the program objectives and priorities?
  • Has the applicant established reasonable timelines, a list of key milestones, and identified key deliverables?
  • How well does the application provide valid anticipated outcomes: what will be measured, how will these be measured, and which performance indicators will be tracked?

Sector Benefit

  • What direct and potential benefits are expected from undertaking the project?
  • What is the breadth of benefits? Are they limited to the applicant or will they extend broadly to the agriculture sector, a region, or a sub-sector?
  • Are benefits expected to exceed funding requested?
  • Does the degree of cost sharing reflect public versus private benefit and applicant/industry buy-in?

Partnerships and Support

  • Is the applicant working with other organizations such as industry associations, other companies or value-chain participants, the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, or academic institutions?
  • Has support for this project been demonstrated through relevant letters of support?
  • Are other organizations contributing cash or resources?

History with IAF-administered programs including review of previously approved projects

  • Has the applicant applied to this program before?
  • Which programs has the applicant previously enrolled in?
  • How much funding has been provided to this applicant in previous years?
  • Were project reporting and all activities completed on time and within budget parameters? If not, why?
  • If the applicant was previously approved for funding, was the project deemed a success?

Capacity

  • Does the applicant seem to have the necessary financial resources to carry out the project?
  • Is the applicant solely responsible for completing the project, or will the applicant hire a consultant to complete the project?
  • Is the applicant likely to utilize the funding requested?
  • Are there sufficient human resources in place to ensure that project reports and documentation will be maintained and delivered?

Resources

Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program Guide

Download the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program Guide.

download

Funding provided by:

CAP Logo, Province of BC Logo, Government of Canada Logo

Please note: the Government of BC may, from time to time, give instructions to IAF in relation to the delivery and administration of this program. IAF must and will comply with those instructions.