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AgTech Food Processing Investments

Saskatchewan Launches $1 Million Agtech Growth Fund

The Agtech Growth Fund (AGF) is a research and development (R&D) funding program designed to accelerate the commercialization of game-changing technological innovations in the province’s agricultural sector. Through AGF, Innovation Saskatchewan (IS) provides non-repayable grants to projects that address a specific industry challenge.

“Growing our ag economy is a key part of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan and by providing solutions in agtech, we add value to our rural communities, increase our sustainability and strengthen this province’s global leadership in food production and farming excellence.”

Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan

AGF will accept applications for R&D projects related to the following areas:

  1. Digital Ag Software/Hardware (e.g., sensors, imagery, precision ag, data stewardship)
  2. Smart Farm Equipment (e.g., robotics, machinery, automation)
  3. Food Processing (enabling technologies)
  4. Indoor Agriculture (enabling technologies)
  5. Animal Health/Verification Technology
  6. Supply Chain Technology (e.g., traceability)
  7. Agricultural Marketplace/Fintech

The agri-foods industry has the potential to become Canada’s largest economic sector. With the proper investments in agtech, the Royal Bank of Canada forecasts $11 billion in new goods and services could be added to the national economy by 2030.

“Continued investment in agriculture technology will be a significant driver of growth in the industry. Saskatchewan is already an agriculture research hub and investing in farm equipment technology will complement our investments in crop breeding and production to bring us closer to achieving our Growth Plan goals.”

David Marit, Minister of Agriculture

All applications must meet the following criteria to be considered for funding:

  1. Proposed by a group of active private sector partners that represent the project’s value chain (researchers, those involved in the production/supply process, and customer/end users).
    • Active partner: participating in the project either through cash and/or in-kind contribution, equity investment, and/or letter of intent to purchase.
    • Majority of the R&D activities must be conducted by Saskatchewan-based partners.
    • Priority is given to proposals that also have an academic partner from a Saskatchewan post-secondary or research institute.
  2. Demonstrate how the technological innovation will solve a specific industry-wide challenge and benefit the agriculture sector as a whole, not just individual companies.
  3. Technological solutions must be novel and innovative.
  4. Demonstrate a feasible path to commercialization and how the benefits of the project will be sustained over the long-term.
  5. Industry partners must provide 50% or more of the project’s budget. The amount requested from IS is no more than 30% of the proposed budget.

Lead proponents can receive a maximum of $450,000 in AGF grants over their lifetime. Intakes for the AGF are held twice per fiscal year. To be considered for funding, prospective applicants must submit an EOI and complete the “Eligibility Questionnaire” before the intake deadline. Only selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. Shortlist decisions made by IS’ internal selection committee are final.

Read more at Innovation Saskatchewan. Please contact Kevin Chung at kevin.chung@innovationsask.ca for more information.