Government challenges small businesses to innovate

This recently announced five-year, $100 million program has twenty federal departments participating, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). The program is a core element of the Innovation and Skills Plan announced in 2017 federal budget. But the scope of ideas they’re inviting is limited.


For example, according to the news release, AAFC is challenging small businesses to (1) make “smart farming” technology cheaper so that smaller farms can use it, or (2) improve soil sample collection to make it easier, and make testing more accurate.


Winning small businesses may receive up to $150,000 to refine their research and development and, if accepted into Phase 2, receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. The Government will then act as a first customer, helping small businesses to commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create jobs.


AAFC minister Lawrence MacAulay said “Innovation is a driving force of Canada’s agricultural sector. Through these challenges, small business innovators can help agriculture researchers, smaller-scale farms and processing plants access the tools and technologies they need to be environmentally sustainable and economically prosperous.


For more information about the Innovative Solutions Canada program, go to:




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Thursday, November 1, 2018

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