CAP: Productivity - Technology Solutions: Productivity Pilots and Demonstrations of New Technology

Purpose of Project Category:

Projects will focus on promoting, piloting and demonstrating new and innovative technologies related to labour saving technology or practices, waste reduction, or increased efficiency. Projects must demonstrate benefits that increase competitiveness of Ontario’s broader agri-food and agri-products sector.

Target Audience – Who should apply?

Organizations or collaborations along the agri-food and agri-products value chain that are supporting commodities heavily impacted by a changing business environment (e.g., horticulture, greenhouse and food processors), as well as those supporting emerging or high growth commodities, are focuses under this project category. Preference will be given to projects focused on piloting or demonstrating technology and equipment which is new and innovative in Ontario, or equipment upgrades in Northern Ontario or Indigenous Partner businesses which may or may not be new or innovative in Ontario.

Eligible Projects

  • Pilot of new and innovative technology - Pilot projects must demonstrate that the lab or theoretical research is done, and a commercial application is envisioned. (A pilot project is the step between bench research and full-scale commercial application and tests on a scale that might not be commercially viable but would allow for testing under close to real world conditions. It forms part of the ‘scaling-up’ process and allows verification that the technology still works outside the lab.)
  • Demonstration projects of new technologies - Demonstration projects must demonstrate and/or validate at a real-world scale new technology, concepts, business processes, marketing approaches, or systems, in order to demonstrate, test, and/or assess the technological and economic feasibility of innovative solutions. Demonstration projects can also be one-time, event-based activities that extend knowledge gained from research and/or demonstrate a technology.
  • Projects must include outreach strategies and/or knowledge acquisition and knowledge sharing.

Examples of projects

  • Pilot project testing the benefit of automating a labour intensive process
  • Demonstration project of newly proven productivity enhancing technology

Project Category Priorities

  • Projects must include an audit, assessment or labour productivity plan that demonstrates the need and impact of the project in addressing current deficiencies, opportunities and risks
  • Projects must include baseline Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for productivity, energy usage and waste management
  • Applicants that can demonstrate through data, statistics or other analysis that they have a high growth (e.g., growth that is significantly above industry average) or newly emerging market opportunity to address
  • Projects implementing upgrades that are new or novel in Ontario (technological or equipment upgrades at Northern Ontario or Indigenous communities may or may not be new or novel in Ontario)
  • Projects that quantify the relevant industry/business impacts, such as: reduced identified risks, job creation or retention, increased sales and revenue, increased profitability, etc.
  • Projects that include third party data gathering and validation that can be used by the broader industry to increase the awareness and adoption of the new technology
  • Projects that focus on and demonstrate labour productivity benefits and savings
  • Projects that demonstrate the anticipated adoption/use in the broader sector
  • Multi-year projects that demonstrate the technology will results in financial sustainability for the organization/collaboration
  • Projects from Indigenous communities
  • Projects from Northern Ontario communities (Northern Ontario for the purposes of this program is consistent with the definition in the Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy)

Funding Available

  • Up to 50 per cent cost-share funding of total eligible costs
  • Requests for funding above 50 per cent must clearly demonstrate how the project addresses the Innovation Rating Criteria and Project Category Priorities in order to be considered for up to 65 per cent funding of total eligible costs
  • Requests for funding above 65 per cent must clearly demonstrate how the project addresses the Innovation Rating Criteria and Project Category Priorities and also must clearly demonstrate how the project provides co-benefits with environmental stewardship, with protection and assurance systems or with both priority areas in order to be considered for funding above 65 per cent and up to 75 percent funding of total eligible costs.
  • Recommended cost-share up to $250,000 per project

Project Length

  • Projects approved from December 2018 onwards, to finish by December 1, 2020
  • Where strong rationale is provided, to support critical components of projects approved from December 2018 onwards, project end dates may be extended to December 1, 2021 and final claims, final reports and project results surveys must be submitted to AAC no later than January 3, 2022

Eligible Costs


  • Costs directly related to the activities noted below that are also consistent with Section F
  • Capital expenses related to new processing equipment, or retrofitting existing equipment, technology and software systems to increase automation and labour productivity (includes equipment to package and label products) and costs associated with installation and configuration
  • Modifications to existing equipment or technology for optimization or to enable installation of automation and labour-saving equipment and technology
  • Development of new or translation of existing manufacturing policies, feedback systems, preventative maintenance procedures and standard operational procedures, such as processing standards (time, temperature, speed etc.); proactive, preventative maintenance routines; and employee scheduling systems
  • Waste stream processes, equipment or technology upgrades to reduce wastewater (volume and strength) or other wastes such as ingredients or finished product
  • Requests for higher capital costs reimbursement will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Eligible Activities

  • Activities that are consistent with Section H

Ineligible Costs

  • See a list of general ineligible costs in Section G

Ineligible Activities

  • See a list of general ineligible activities in Section H