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Raising And Allocating Financing For Growth

Written by:
Ela Malkovsky, Technical Writer and Editor-in-Chief.

At some point in every business there comes a time when expansion and growth become crucial to the survival and success of the company; however, the path to raising and efficiently allocating resources for expansion is complex and paved with many uncertainties.

The expectations of businesses for their own growth has been historically burdened by global economic uncertainty as well as national policy changes and amendments in the Canadian tax system, especially over the last couple of years. As a result, business growth into new markets and export as well as capital investment and infrastructure development, which are all essential to growth, have been associated with a substantial risk factor.

Government funding solutions dramatically reduce the risk associated with expansion by allowing companies to make more substantial investments with increased return opportunity, which the company may not have been able to fund on its own. This can translate into machinery with increased production efficiency, infrastructure with reduced costs of maintenance, or promotional materials with increased marketing influence.

Including government funding solutions during the initial stages of strategic growth planning provides increased opportunities for expansion that may not have been previously conceived as possible and allows the company to develop its growth plans in accordance with specific program eligibility guidelines, thereby, increasing its chances of receiving funding.

Growing Agri Businesses Further

Within the agricultural industry, major federal sources of funding have recently been announced as part of the new Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The new policy framework features a 50% increase in governments’ cost-shared investments and will come into play in April 2013 when the current Growing Forward (GF) policy framework expires to continue supporting and enhancing innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada.

The five-year, $3 billion Growing Forward 2 initiative aims to provide flexible programs in accordance with regional needs and national goals as well as improved regulatory processes and cooperation to support competitiveness and innovation.

Three new programs have been recently announced under Growing Forward 2 that will be opening in April 2013 and are currently accepting early applications including AgriInnovation, AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness. Companies in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry can now submit early applications to receive grants or loans for various activities involved in product development, commercialization, marketing and export.

Eligible companies can receive funding to cover the costs of administration, salaries/benefits, contracted services, travel and capital assets.

Other direct project costs for product development and marketing that are covered include: lease of facilities/equipment/machinery; shipping/transportation costs; licenses/permits; start up costs; production of required materials in second official language/translation; marketing costs; required materials/consumables; printing, disseminating project results to stakeholders; conference and registration fees; trade show participation/attendance; marketing and advertising.

Product Development and Commercialization: AgriInnovation

AgriInnovation is a five-year, $468 million program designed to accelerate the pace of innovation and commercialization of innovative products, technologies, processes, practices and services.


Industry-led Research and Development Stream (Grant): $5M (Agri-science project); $20M (Agri-science cluster). Supports pre-commercialization R&D and knowledge transfer leading to innovative practices, processes and products. If you are pursuing any of the following activities you may be eligible:

  • Targeted applied science R&D activities that address sector priorities, increase market opportunities and foster innovation;
  • Research relating to product, practice, process/technology development;
  • Projects that pilot, test solutions and explore/adapt technologies;
  • Knowledge transfer and development of science and technology from the bench to the field.

Commercialization Stream (Interest free loan): $10M. Supports demonstration, commercialization and adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes or services to reduce the financial risk associated with late-stage activities. If you are pursuing any of the following activities you may be eligible:

  • Adoption/commercialization of innovative agri-products, technologies, processes or services;
  • Pre-commercial demonstration of innovative agri-products, technologies, processes or services involving demonstration needed to acquire certifications necessary for commercial operation; sample production for market validation; creation of a reference or showcase site; demonstration to a targeted user to secure a key customer necessary to penetrate the market.

The above activities may include: construction, expansion or modernization of a facility or site to demonstrate, commercialize or adopt an innovative agri- product, technology, process or service; purchase and installation of equipment; training and development of staff for the project; marketing activities where they form a minor component of a project.

Market Expansion and Export: AgriMarketing

AgriMarketing is a five-year, $341 million program designed to improve sector competitiveness in domestic and international markets. Priority will be given to applications submitted before March 15, 2013.

Market Development Stream: $50,000 per year for SME’s; $2.5 million per year for non-profit recipients. Seeks to support Canada’s expansion in domestic and export markets, promote Canadian products and producers and ensure that market requirements are met. If you are pursuing any of the following activities you may be eligible:

  • Developing/implementing market development/branding strategies;
  • Conducting incoming/outgoing and exploratory missions;
  • Participating/attending trade shows;
  • Training for foreign buyers;
  • Industry wide branding promotion and advertising.

Assurance Systems Stream (non-profit and academia): Supports the development of Canadian food safety, animal and plant health surveillance, quality standards and traceability systems and tools. If you are pursuing any of the following activities you may be eligible:

  • Development of national assurance systems, standards and tools to support implementation;
  • Communication, knowledge transfer and awareness activities;
  • Integration of national assurance systems;
  • Benchmarking of national systems/standards to international/private standards;
  • Management of a single, national multi species traceability database/zoning site.

Adapting to Changing Trends: AgriCompetitiveness

AgriCompetitiveness is a five-year, $114.5 million program comprising a combination of government initiatives and funding that aims to help the sector adapt to global and domestic opportunities and issues, respond to market trends, enhance business and entrepreneurial capacity and manage risks.

Stream A - Facilitating Sector Capacity: Supports the value chain roundtables (VCRTs) to provide a forum for government and industry to undertake joint action.

Stream B - Fostering Business Development (non-profit only): Aims to allow agri-businesses to transition, adapt and improve profitability and resilience through the development of youth, young and established farmers, farm safety initiatives, skills and individual/industry leadership.

Stream C - Facilitating and Supporting a Modern Regulatory Environment: Industry and regulatory agency collaboration to enable stakeholder participation and adaptation in a regulatory environment and enhanced grower access to improved pest control tools through the Minor Use Pesticides Program.

Important Deadlines:

February 1, 2013 – (AgriInnovation)
First deadline for applications for R&D stream.

June 1, 2013 – (AgriInnovation)
Second deadline for applications for R&D stream.

October 1, 2013, 2013 – (AgriInnovation)
Third deadline for applications for R&D stream.

January 31, 2018 – (AgriInnovation)
Complete research & development activities.

March 31, 2018
Complete AgriMarketing activities. All Growing Forward 2 programs expire.


Ela is dedicated to supporting the advancement of Canadian companies by identifying and leveraging innovative research and technology based funding options.

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