Deadline: 27 August 2020
The Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) has launched its new $40 million Food, Farming, and Forestry Challenge to accelerate innovation in support of long-term competitiveness and stimulate growth in the critically important agriculture, agri-food, fibre, and forestry sectors.
It provides near-term capital to innovators in these critical Alberta industries, while also identifying opportunities and solutions for longer term economic recovery, investment attraction, job creation, and emissions reduction.
ERA’s $40 million Food, Farming, and Forestry Challenge is well-aligned with current and future funding programs through the Agriculture Funding Consortium (AFC) and the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN).
ERA will work with AFC, CAAIN, and other related programs to explore co-funding opportunities and reduce the administrative burden for applicants. ERA will also work to align with the research priorities and project opportunities identified by the new Results Driven Agricultural Research (RDAR) initiative.
This Call is seeking innovative solutions for GHG emissions mitigation, abatement, and sequestration across Alberta’s food, farming, and forestry industries. Examples of potential areas of interest for this Call include but are not limited to:
- Land use changes for GHG mitigation and sequestration, including innovation relating to soil carbon content, soil health, water use, etc.;
- Quantification and measurement techniques for productivity improvement, enhanced sustainability & biodiversity, and/or GHG monitoring as a critical enabler for GHG reductions;
- Advanced genetics and omics for crops and livestock;
- Solutions for improved nutrient management including novel fertilizers and improved practices;
- Novel techniques for tillage, seeding, harvesting etc.;
- Advanced cultivation techniques including vertical/containerized farming, hydroponics, and greenhouse technologies;
- Digitization and automation for enhanced production and resource management;
- Solutions for biological methane emissions;
- Improved forest management and silviculture;
- Novel utilization of short-rotation forest species, including land reclamation, green construction, or new forestry products; and
- Deriving coproducts and value-added opportunities from agricultural and forestry residues.
Eligible technologies can come from anywhere the world, but projects must be piloted, demonstrated, or deployed in Alberta. Projects that involve multiple sites are eligible for funding.
All projects supported through this Call must demonstrate a clear and justified value proposition for reducing GHG emissions in Alberta. Technology solutions can originate from anywhere globally, but must be field tested, piloted, demonstrated, or implemented in Alberta. Projects that involve multiple sites are eligible for funding under this Call.
Stage of Development
EOIs are invited for projects that advance innovation to the stages of field testing, field piloting, commercial demonstration, or first-of-kind commercial implementation, as described below:
- Field Test/Pilot: At this stage, the solution is ready to be field tested in an operational environment. Projects in this category include scale up of prototypes to representative pilot scale and subsequent in-field testing of pilot units.
- Commercial Demonstration: At this stage of development, the solution approaching the final commercial product and is ready for testing at near-commercial scale. Projects in this category include demonstration of near- or fully-commercial scale systems/techniques in an operational environment.
- First-of-Kind Commercial Implementation: At this stage, the solution is ready for first-of-kind commercial deployment. Projects in this category will involve design, construction, and operation of the technology or practice in its final commercial form, with the intent to operate the solution for its full commercial life.
For clarity, projects may begin at an earlier stage of development as long as they reach one or more of the above stages within the scope of the project and the timelines outlined below. Applicants are responsible for providing a clear line of sight from the current level of development through to piloting, demonstration, and/or deployment within the scope of the ERA-funded project.
- The total funding available for projects supported through this Call is up to $40 million Canadian Dollars ($CAD), subject to the discretion of ERA and the availability of funds.
- The minimum funding request to ERA for any one project is $250,000 CAD, and the maximum is $5 million CAD.
- This Call is open to all categories of lead applicant, including farmers and ranchers, innovators, technology developers, Indigenous communities, industry, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development (R&D) organizations, universities, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, government research labs, and individuals. Applicants are not required to be located in Alberta, but all applicants must demonstrate a clear value proposition for the province.
- Collaboration between multiple organizations is eligible and encouraged for this opportunity. Collaboration between partners can often represent a strong value proposition by demonstrating opportunities for technology validation, commercialization, and sharing of results. This Call is focused on advancing technology solutions. As such, involvement from technology providers/developers is critical.
- Applicants are encouraged to partner with Alberta’s post-secondary and research institutions, Indigenous communities, co-operative organizations, and municipalities where appropriate. These partnerships can offer significant benefits, including the attraction and training of highly skilled workers, increasing Alberta’s innovation capacity, engagement of local communities, and leveraging complementary resources.
- There are no restrictions on the number of EOIs that can be submitted by any applicant. However, applicants are encouraged to be selective and bring forward only the most promising and highest quality applications.
- Projects or portions thereof that have received ERA or CCEMC funding are not eligible to receive further ERA funding for the same development. However, applicants may request support for a new phase of development that builds on and sufficiently advances a previously-funded project.
For more information, visit https://www.eralberta.ca/food-farming-and-forestry-challenge/