Place to Grow Guide for Applicants

Ontario's government is helping to grow the province's agri-food and agri-products sectors by launching the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative - a program which will help drive innovation, reduce red tape, and address industry priorities. This new initiative, which is comprised of 'Funding for Sectors' and 'Strategic Solutions', will support agriculture and food value-chain partners in address emerging sector challenges and opportunities to create sector wide benefits.

Qs & As: Canadian Agricultural Partnership - Place to Grow

Funding for Sectors

Programming Overview

Funding will support agriculture and food value chain partners by offering cost-share funding opportunities to address identified industry priorities and outcomes for Ontario under Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship and Protection and Assurance.

Program Guidelines

Detailed project category offerings and applicant requirements can be found by selecting the respective priority area below:

Protection & Assurance Environmental Stewardship Economic Development

Program Details

Further information on eligible applicants, cost-share funding, ineligible projects and timing can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

How to Apply

Eligible applicants can apply to the first intake under Funding for Sectors programming until September 27, 2019. The second application intake will be from January 6 to 27, 2020.

Completed applications, including all required documentation, should be submitted by email to agpartnership@ontario.ca. If you submit an application by email, but do not receive an acknowledgement within two business days, contact OMAFRA at: 1-877-424-1300.

Note: the form must be filled out using Adobe software, such as Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro. Other PDF reader software, including your internet browser, is not compatible with this form. If you use non-Adobe software, you may be prevented from filling out this form in its entirety, or the content that you enter may not save properly. If you do not already have Adobe software on your computer, you can download a free version here: get.adobe.com/reader.

Strategic Solutions

Programming Overview

The Strategic Solutions category will focus on bold, innovative, and collaborative projects proposed by industry partners to drive priority outcomes that have been identified under the Ontario Partnership.

An emphasis will be put on collaborative projects with partners throughout the value-chain that accelerate the creation and adoption of innovative solutions for sector challenges and arising opportunities.

Program Materials

How to Apply

This Strategic Solutions project category uses a two-stage application process (pre-proposal and invited full application). The first application intake will remain open until September 27, 2019. The second application intake will be from January 6 to 27, 2020.

Completed pre-proposals, including required documentation can be submitted by email to agpartnership@ontario.ca. If you submit a pre-proposal by email, but do not receive an acknowledgement within two business days, contact OMAFRA at: 1-877-424-1300.

Note: the form must be filled out using Adobe software, such as Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro. Other PDF reader software, including your internet browser, is not compatible with this form. If you use non-Adobe software, you may be prevented from filling out this form in its entirety, or the content that you enter may not save properly. If you do not already have Adobe software on your computer, you can download a free version here: get.adobe.com/reader.

General Qs & As:

Q1. Are activities related to the aquaculture sector eligible for cost-share funding?

Activities related to aquaponic food production, and to aquaculture, seaweed, fish and seafood production and processing are ineligible for Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) funding with the following exceptions, which are eligible:

  • International marketing for fish and seafood products is eligible for CAP funding
  • Traceability for fish and seafood products is eligible for CAP funding

Q2. Can costs paid by one partner to another be considered eligible?

No, partner to partner billing is ineligible. This supports the project eligibility requirements under the program guidelines, which restrict eligible expenditures to the costs of goods and services purchased from suppliers that are at Arm's Length from lead entity and project partners.

Lead entity and project partners must have an Arm's Length relationship from one another and have a vested interest in the project. Project partners influence the project directly (by providing cash investments, resources, project oversight, and/or expertise) so that they can benefit from the project outcome. Although vendors/suppliers may contribute resources and/or expertise to the project, their contribution is not solely vested in meeting project outcomes.

'Funding for Sectors' Q&As

Q1. For Place to Grow - 'Funding for Sectors', have applicant eligibility requirements changed significantly?

The program maintains applicant eligibility requirements under 'Funding for Sectors'. The requirements include:

  • Two or more legally recognized entities that have an Arm's Length relationship from each other and are working together as partners on a project, may apply provided that each entity:
    • is engaged in the project and will be contributing cash or in-kind resources towards the project;
    • is involved in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector; and
    • is in compliance with all requirements of law and will remain in compliance for the duration of the project.
  • Applicants must be represented by a lead entity, capable of entering into a funding agreement with the Province of Ontario. *See lead entity and project partner responsibilities listed in question 3.

See program guidelines and application for full eligibility requirements.

Q2. For Place to Grow - 'Funding for Sectors', can a not-for-profit apply as a sole applicant?

Yes, in certain circumstances an eligible not-for-profit entity may apply as a sole applicant if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • A registered charity, as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada), and remains in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency; or
  • A corporation incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation or similar entity under an Act of Canada or a province or territory of Canada and is in good standing under that Act; and
  • Has operations in Ontario (i.e., located in Ontario and, where applicable, have a membership composed primarily of Ontario residents/businesses/organizations) and is capable of entering into a funding agreement.
  • Is not an academic/research institution.

See program guidelines and application for full eligibility requirements.

Q3. For Place to Grow - 'Funding for Sectors', what are the lead entity responsibilities from a program perspective?

The lead entity must:

  • Be a legal entity located in Ontario, and the project must benefit the Ontario agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector.

Application Process:

  • Complete the Application, on behalf of the project partners and provide a Canada Revenue Agency Business Number as part of the application process
  • Sign the application and be bound by the Terms and Conditions under the Place to Grow cost-share program
  • Be the primary point of contact for the application

Project Implementation:

  • Be capable of entering into a Contribution Agreement with the Province on behalf of all project partners, if the project is ultimately approved
  • Register through the Province of Ontario's Transfer Payment Common Registration (TPCR) system (an online registration tool)
  • Manage the project
  • Have financial capacity to cash flow all project costs, receive all project funding paid by OMAFRA and receive T4A for all funding paid by OMAFRA (note: this includes collecting cash contributions from project partners and incurring all costs)
  • Provide the required documentation to ministry for reimbursement of funding
  • Prepare and submit progress and final reports
  • Communicate and share project information with all project partners.

Q4. For Place to Grow - 'Funding for Sectors', what are the responsibilities of project partners from a program perspective?

Project partners must:

  • Direct all project contributions to the lead entity who incurs all project costs.
  • Be a legal entity in Ontario, and the project must benefit the Ontario agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector.
  • Have an Arm's Length relationship from the lead applicant and other project partners.
  • Be directly engaged in the project and have a vested interest in the project (i.e. contributing cash, providing resources, project oversight, and/or expertise in the project)
  • Sign and submit a Partner Declaration form as part of the full application process and be bound by the Terms and Conditions under the Place to Grow cost-share program

Q5. For Place to Grow - 'Funding for Sectors', why do lead entities need to have financial capacity for the total project cost?

Projects are contracted with the lead entity only. In addition, program funding is provided on a reimbursement basis, and therefore the lead entity must be able to cash flow project costs up front.

When considering financial capacity, it is important to note the following:

  • In-kind contributions are considered eligible costs up to the limit of 15 per cent of the approved value of eligible project costs. In-kind contributions must be identified and approved in the application for an approved project.
  • Stacking is eligible up to 100 per cent of eligible project funding.

For the 'Strategic Solutions' stream of the Place to Grow program, lead entities are required to provide financial statements as evidence to demonstrate financial capacity as part of the application process.

'Strategic Solutions' Q&A's

Q1. What is 'Strategic Solutions'?

The 'Strategic Solutions' stream will focus on bold, innovative, and collaborative projects proposed by industry partners to drive priority outcomes that have been identified under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Under this stream, there will be an emphasis on collaborative projects with partners throughout the value-chain that accelerate the creation and adoption of innovative solutions for sector challenges and arising opportunities.

Q2. For Place to Grow - 'Strategic Solutions', what are the eligibility requirements for 'applicants?

The focus of the Strategic Solutions stream is on collaborative opportunities with project partners throughout the value chain. Specifically, applicant eligibility requirements include:

  • Two or more legally recognized entities that have an Arm's Length relationship from each other and are working together as partners on a project, may apply provided that each entity:
    • Is directly engaged and has a vested interest in the project (i.e. contributing cash, providing resources, or providing oversight and/or expertise in the project);
    • One of the entities represents the targeted sector where the benefit will accrue, and
    • Is in compliance with all requirements of law and will remain in compliance for the duration of the project.
  • Applicants must be represented by a Lead Applicant (lead entity), capable of entering into a funding agreement with the Province of Ontario. *See Lead Applicant and Project Partner responsibilities listed in question 6.

'Strategic Solutions' eligibility requirements differ from 'Funding for Sectors' in a few key ways. Specifically, applicants are not required to be involved in the agriculture, agri-food and/or agri-product sector, however, at least one project partner must be a part of the sector where the project benefit will accrue. This will help to ensure the reach and impact of these larger projects occur are sector focused.

See program guidelines and application for full eligibility requirements.

Q3. For Place to Grow - 'Strategic Solutions', can a not-for-profit apply as a sole applicant?

An eligible not-for-profit entity may apply as a sole applicant if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • A registered charity, as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada), and remains in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency; or
  • A corporation incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation or similar entity under an Act of Canada or a province or territory of Canada and is in good standing under that Act; and
  • Has operations in Ontario (i.e., located in Ontario and, where applicable, have a membership composed primarily of Ontario residents/businesses/organizations) and is capable of entering into a funding agreement.
  • Is not an academic/research institution.

See program guidelines and application for full eligibility requirements.

Q4. For Place to Grow - 'Strategic Solutions', what are the lead entity responsibilities from a program perspective?

The lead entity must:

  • Be a legal entity located in Ontario. Entities located outside of Ontario may be a project partner, if the supply value-chain is primarily located in Ontario. Project must benefit the broader Ontario agri-food and/or agri-products sector.

Application Process:

  • Complete the Pre-Proposal and Full Application (if invited), on behalf of the project partners and provide a Canada Revenue Agency Business Number as part of the application process
  • Sign the application and be bound by the Terms and Conditions under the Place to Grow Cost-share program
  • Be the primary point of contact for the pre-proposal and full application

Project Implementation:

  • Capable of entering into a Contribution Agreement with the Province on behalf of the other project partners, if the project is ultimately approved
  • Register through the Province of Ontario's Transfer Payment Common Registration (TPCR) system (an online registration tool)
  • Manage the project
  • Have financial capacity to cash flow all project costs, receive all project funding paid by OMAFRA and receive T4A for all funding paid by OMAFRA (note: this includes collecting cash contributions from project partners and incurring all costs)
  • Provide the required documentation to ministry for reimbursement of funding
  • Prepare and submit progress and final reports
  • Communicate and share project information with all project partners.

Q5. For Place to Grow - 'Strategic Solutions', what are the responsibilities of project partners from a program perspective?

Project partners must:

  • Direct all project contributions to the lead entity who incurs all project costs.
  • Be a legal entity in Ontario. Entities located outside of Ontario may be a project partner, if the supply value-chain is primarily located in Ontario. Project must benefit the broader Ontario agri-food and/or agri-products sector
  • Have an Arm's Length relationship from the lead applicant and other project partners.
  • Be directly engaged in the project and have a vested interest in the project (i.e. contributing cash, is providing resources, project oversight, and/or expertise in the project).
  • Sign and submit a Partner Declaration form as part of the full application process and be bound by the Terms and Conditions under the Place to Grow cost-share program.

Q6. For Place to Grow - 'Strategic Solutions', why do lead entities need to demonstrate financial capacity for the total project cost?

Projects are contracted with the lead entity only. Lead entities must provide evidence of strong financial capacity and be able to cash flow project costs up front. An entity's financial capacity is an indication of whether a project is likely to be completed successfully. Project partner and cost-share amounts are subject to change during the project assessment process. Therefore, ensuring the lead entity has the financial capacity to cash flow project costs helps ensure certain financial project risks are mitigated.

When considering financial capacity, it is important to note the following:

  • Project funding is provided based on achieving specific milestones or completion of activities. Lead entities of approved projects will receive funding as required milestones are met and reports are approved by OMAFRA.
  • Stacking is eligible up to 85 per cent of eligible project funding. However, other funding sources are not considered when assessing the lead entity's financial capacity to cash flow project costs.

Q7. For Place to Grow - 'Strategic Solutions', what are some examples of the types of projects that can be supported under this program?

Some potential projects activities/examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The investigation and development of sector new solutions that address emerging issues or seize opportunities.
    • Project examples:
      • Develop novel processes or practices, adapt or acquire emerging technologies (e.g., automation, digitization, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, block chain systems), to improve productivity or manage risks and establish a plan to support information dissemination and adoption across the sector.
      • Application of digital technologies and analytics to optimize food production systems, while increasing productivity and profitability and reducing environmental impacts.
      • Develop, pilot and/or implement innovative methods, technologies and strategies across the agri-food and agri-products and technology sector, to advance measurement of soil health metrics that will lead towards better solutions for soil health management.
  • Tests, pilots, demonstrations, or prototypes of new technology and/or solutions that benefit the sector.
    • Project examples:
      • Pilot a new digital technology process that integrates data from disparate sources and systems and supports improvements to decision-making and productivity to improve and pilot plant health information management for analysis and dissemination and identify the best approach to support awareness across the sector.
  • Implementing or scaling up validated solutions to support early and wide-scale sector adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes or services in the sector.
    • Project examples:
      • Expanded the application of a world class innovation that is available to Ontario's agri-food sector and increase knowledge dissemination about the new innovation to enable wide-scale sector adoption.
      • Leverage new technologies to promote visibility across the agri-food value chain, to enhance food safety and increase public trust and businesses competitiveness; and implement sector-driven targeted opportunities to position Ontario as a global leader in food integrity.

Logos of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Government of Ontario, and the Government of Canada.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Rural Programs Branch, OMAFRA
Creation Date: 31 July 2019
Last Reviewed: 16 August 2019