Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) Program


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

For More Information

For more information on the Agricultural Climate Solutions Program, please contact AAFC by:


Telephone: 1-877-246-4682
TDD/TTY: 613-773-2600

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agricultural Climate Solutions
Industry Development Division
Programs Branch
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 223
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5


The goal of the Agricultural Climate Solutions Program (ACS) is to accelerate co-development, testing, adoption, dissemination and monitoring of technologies and practices, including beneficial management practices (BMPs), that sequester carbon and/or mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Through a collaborative approach, projects will focus on the on-farm co-development, testing, adoption and monitoring of new BMPs and technologies. Projects funded under ACS will follow the living lab innovation model. A living lab is an integrated approach to agricultural innovation that brings together farmers, scientists, and other participants to co-develop, test, and monitor new BMPs and technologies in a real-life context where they will be used: on Canadian farms. More information about the living lab model and its core principles can be found in the Living Laboratories Initiative.

ACS will consider projects within the following 2 priority areas:

  • carbon sequestration (for example, cover crops, intercropping, conversion of marginal land to permanent cover, shelterbelts, inclusion of pulses in rotations)
  • greenhouse gas mitigation (for example, nutrient management, feeding strategies)

Please note that during the 2021-22 funding cycle, the emphasis will be on supporting proposals that include the advancement of carbon sequestration as an important part of their project activities.  In addition, projects should indicate if they could support the achievement of other relevant environmental benefits, such as:

  • improving soil health and water quality
  • water conservation
  • increasing biodiversity
  • maximizing habitat capacity

The aim of the 2021 grant funding is to facilitate establishing a Canada-wide network of living labs. Eligible organizations in all provinces are welcome to submit their applications for 2021 grant funding to support the preparation of proposals leading to the development of living labs in their province. Please note that while the 2021 granting process is open across the country, the focus will be placed on helping organizations in provinces that currently do not host a living lab established as part of the Living Laboratories Initiative - Collaborative Program (LLI-CP, 2018-23). Currently, provinces of Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba each host a living lab under LLI-CP.

A second call for grant proposals will be offered in 2022.


The following agriculture sector organization types are eligible to apply for Step 1 and Step 2 of this program:

  • not-for-profit organizations, including producer organizations
  • Indigenous groups

Eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements. For both grant and contribution funding, eligible activities must be carried out within Canada.

Successful applicants will be required to develop a network of project participants to implement their comprehensive project proposal based on the living lab model. Project participants may include:

  • Indigenous groups
  • producers
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • for-profit organizations
  • academic institutions
  • other federal government departments, including AAFC  
  • provincial / territorial departments and agencies
  • municipal governments

Funding Availability

 Funding is available in a 2 step process and will provide 2 types of funding. 

  • Step 1 consists of grant funding to support organizations in building capacity, developing networks of participants, and drafting comprehensive project proposals that will be submitted for Step 2 contribution funding and/or collaborative research and development support
    • Step 1 is optional support that can be requested by eligible recipients who wish to apply for Step 2 funding and/or support
    • Applicants may apply for an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) grant of up to $100,000
  • Step 2 consists of contribution funding and may include collaborative research and development support from AAFC, to implement approved comprehensive project proposals, following the living lab approach
    • Step 2 application process is anticipated to open in August 2021 and close in December 2021; it is expected that approved comprehensive projects will start project activities in spring 2022.

Maximum Project Value

Applicants may apply for a maximum (Step 1) grant of $100,000 per project. AAFC may provide up to 100% of eligible costs; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to contribute funding for eligible costs. The maximum level of total government funding (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) for the grant may not exceed 100% of the total eligible costs for the grant proposal.

Indirect Costs

Overhead (indirect costs) cannot exceed 15% of total other eligible costs invoiced for Contracted Services, including research work.

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 web-page.


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

Internal Deadline

Applications for grant funding (Step 1) will be accepted from April 1, 2021 until 11:59 PM PT, June 15, 2021. University of Guelph Internal Deadline is one week before submission of the application to AAFC, including letters of support confirming any cash and in-kind contributions from UG.  

How to Apply

1. Read the Grant Applicant Guide for detailed information on eligibility criteria, available funding and the application process. Note: The University of Guelph may not be the applicant under this funding program.

2. Complete and submit your grant application package. A complete grant application package consists of a:

  • grant application form
  • budget
  • work plan

Further details on the package will be available in the Grant Applicant Guide. Complete, sign, and submit the grant application package by email to AAFC at or mail it to:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agricultural Climate Solutions
Industry Development Division
Programs Branch
Tower 7, Floor 8, Room 223
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5

If your submitted application is deemed incomplete, you will be notified and will have 10 business days to provide the missing information before the file is closed. You will be able to re-submit your application before the application process closing date. Please note that it will not be possible to modify grant applications after the closing date (June 15, 2021).

Apply for contribution funding

The application process for Step 2: contribution funding and/or collaborative research and development  support, is anticipated to launch in August 2021 and end in December 2021. The Contribution Applicant Guide and exact launch and close dates of the Step 2 application process will be provided here in summer 2021.

Applicants, including organizations who received grant funding, will need to request the Step 2 application package to be able to develop the comprehensive project proposal and apply for contribution funding and/or collaborative research and development support.

It is expected that approved comprehensive projects will be 5 years in duration, although shorter timelines will be considered as long as project proposals meet eligibility requirements and contribute to meeting program objectives.

Note that the approval of funding under Step 1 grant funding is not a requirement for consideration of funding and/or support under Step 2. At the same time, all applicants for contribution funding, including grant funding recipients, will be assessed using the same set of criteria.


PDF icon Applicant Guide1.23 MB
PDF icon Application Form1.16 MB
File Budget form32.56 KB
File Workplan template40.3 KB
File Carbon Sequestration Tool35.37 KB
For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Angela Vuk, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x55026

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