2021/22 Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network Open Competition


Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN)


2021/22 Competition for the Collaborative Technology Development and Application Program

For More Information

Please visit the competition website.


Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) is a platform to pursue agri-food sector precision, productivity, and enhancements within an ecosystem of companies covering complete value chains (from soil through to consumer) and a network of smart farms. CAAIN funding will allow these groups to come together to develop research and/or innovation projects featuring transformational technologies with the potential to provide exceptional social, economic, and environmental benefits to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

CAAIN’s overall objective is to leverage the advantages created by bringing technology-heavy partners together with relationship-rich, industry-embedded partners to increase productivity and enhance value. CAAIN will achieve this objective by investing in research and innovation projects that:

  1. Advance the development, use, and value of automation and robotics in agri-food production.
  2. Support the creation of data-based decision-making tools that can be applied to reduce risk and optimize production.
  3. Contribute to the implementation of a smart farm platform that: integrates partners; creates the context for testing, demonstrating, and scaling technologies; and trains tomorrow’s workforce.

Please note, although Universities can be included as project partners CAAIN applications must be led by industry and CAAIN project contributions must flow only to Canadian enterprises.


The following criteria are among the elements CAAIN will consider when evaluating whether to advance a PRF submission to the Expression of Interest stage:

  • Project objectives must be consistent with those of CAAIN and of the ISED Strategic Innovation Fund Stream 4
  • The project team must include at least two small or medium enterprises (SME) incorporated in Canada. (499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees)
  • At least two separate entities of the project team must contribute financially, investing at least 60% of the project’s total eligible supported expenses
  • All project partners must be academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, or companies legally entitled to do business in Canada. CAAIN project contributions must flow only to Canadian enterprises. All team members must be working in Canada.
  • The project team may include one or more academic and/or research institution partner. This is encouraged but not mandatory.

Further eligibility details are available in the Program Guide.

Funding Availability

CAAIN project contributions must flow only to Canadian enterprises.

A maximum funding envelope of $10 million CAD is available in this competition. While there is no minimum funding request, the maximum amount of support from CAAIN available per project is $3 million CAD.

Project Duration

Maximum length for projects is three years from project commencement.

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research webpage.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Project Registration Form Due

How to Apply

CAAIN's Open Competitions include three stages:

  1. The Project Registration Form (PRF) outlines the criteria and eligibility requirements, providing applicants and their project partners a clear understanding of the competition's parameters.
  2. Applicants who complete and submit a PRF may then be invited to participate in the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage, at which point they will need to provide a simplified financial workbook.
  3. Teams proposing exceptional projects are then invited to submit a Full Project Proposal (FPP), which will include a detailed project description and a full financial workbook.

Access the Project Registration Form online. Completed forms may be submitted electronically to info@caain.ca.

For Questions, please contact

CAAIN encourages applicants to work with their networks to develop projects that are in line with the strategic intent of the Open Competition.
If you have questions about this competition, please contact info@caain.ca.

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