Fifteen teams have been granted $50,000 of seed funding to develop their team and finesse their application for the next phase of the Weston Family Foundation’s Homegrown Innovation Challenge. Details on the funded projects can be found here: https://homegrownchallenge.ca/spark-award-projects/
"The judging panel is thrilled with the creativity and ingenuity of our Spark Awardees. Some early solutions include an underground berry farm, a year-round greenhouse with 3D berry production, and a multi-tiered sustainable system that will optimize crop health and production density for small-scale farmers in Northern climates. The sheer diversity of the projects submitted speaks to the incredibly broad scope of possibility and potential. We cannot wait to see the innovative projects yet to come!” said Emma Adamo, chair, Weston Family Foundation.
As the Homegrown Innovation Challenge moves into the Shepherd phase, organizers are actively soliciting more individuals and teams to sign on—there are few boundaries to the potential innovations welcomed to the table (deadline for applications December 20, 2022). In this phase, 10 teams will be awarded $1 million each to develop proof-of-concept over an 18-month period, leading to more funding in the Scaling phase, commencing January 2025.
"We value all kinds of collaboration and our applicants do not require previous experience in agriculture," says Adamo. "But after the December 20 deadline, the door closes to new applicants. Revolutionary ideas need funding to be realized, and we don't want anyone to miss this significant opportunity."
- Applications for the Shepherd phase of the Challenge are being accepted from October 1 to December 20, 2022. In March 2023, 10 teams will each receive up to $1 million to develop proof-of-concept for their ideas in the Shepherd phase.
- The Weston Family Foundation and our partners are well-connected and can offer support in finding team members and creating strategic partnerships. Potential applicants are urged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit www.homegrownchallenge.ca and follow us on Twitter: @HomegrownIC
Source: Weston Family Foundation September 6, 2022 news release