The province has announced a new, $22-million provincial cost-share fund to help agri-food businesses in Ontario invest in innovative technology to modernize their businesses.
Announced on April 21, the Agri-tech Innovation Program is designed to implement technologies that enhance work protection against COVID-19, increase business efficiencies and productivity, and help build sector resilience.
Examples of eligible projects include an optical grading and sorting system used in vegetable processing, or automated, robotic vineyard pruning machines.
This intake will open on May 17 and close on June 21, 2021.
Applicants can apply under one of two streams.
Under the Early Adopters stream, applicants can apply to fund advanced technologies that are not yet widely adopted within the sector, such as production or automation technology.
Designed for significant projects with a value of $150,000, the province will cover 35 per cent of the project, up to a maximum of $100,000.
Application forms for this stream will be available starting on May 17.
Under the Innovators Stream, eligible projects will be adopting innovation that’s new to Ontario, North America or the specific sector. Examples include prototyping or customization of autonomous farm harvesting equipment.
The projects will involve piloting or demonstrating the technology, and will need to be a collaboration between at least two businesses or organizations.
Applications for this stream will be available after the closing of the Early Adopters Stream.
The Agri-tech Innovation Program is part of the Agri-food Prevention and Control Innovation Program, which was announced in Ontario's fall 2020 budget.