Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario: Innovative Breeding Research Program


Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario


The Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO)’s Innovative Breeding Research Program aims to strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector and agri-food research capacity by creating new tailored plant varieties and livestock, apiculture or aquaculture breeds for Ontario’s domestic food supply and export markets. The program also seeks to support economic development through potential new Intellectual Property (IP). ​  

The program will invest in plant, livestock, apiculture and aquaculture breeding research projects and will fund: 

  • Traditional and established breeding programs such as soybean, grains/oilseeds and wheat; and 
  • Emerging niche sectors and up-and-coming breeding research in areas such rainbow trout, honeybees and horticulture as well as Indigenous crops. 

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Address the sustainability and productivity of Ontario’s agri-food sector by developing new tailored plant varieties, livestock and aquaculture traits that support Ontario’s domestic food supply, promote biodiversity and plant and animal health, and help to build resiliency to climate change. 
  • Foster economic growth and competitiveness of the sector by strengthening export market opportunities, enhancing research and innovation capacity, creating new made-in-Ontario intellectual property and generating reinvestment funds for the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario. 

The ARIO invites project proposals to the program. Projects will be adjudicated through a one-step review process. Full proposals are due by 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

Applications are submitted online using the OMAFRA Research Management System (RMS)

For further information about this call, please refer to the Program Guide found with the program description in the RMS (under ‘Invited Calls’ on the RMS Researcher Workbench).

A virtual town hall information session will be held on Monday, January 22, 2024 from 11 a.m. to noon via Teams:


University of Guelph faculty members are eligible to be the Lead Applicant and/or a Co-Applicant on any ARIO Innovative Breeding Research project. Adjunct faculty members may also apply if they are eligible to hold research funding at the University of Guelph and are not employed by or have a financial interest in any of the collaborating organizations or co-funders. Consult the program guide for more details. 

Prior to a new proposal being awarded the Lead Applicant and Co-Applicant (if applicable) must be in ‘good standing’ for all OMAFRA-funded research projects, including all reporting, if awarded in the past.

All additional eligibility requirements are set out in the Program Guide.

Special Notes

Please read the Program Guide in detail as there are special and important instructions on how to fill out a proposal, in particular related to the budget.


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

External Deadline
For Questions, please contact

For questions about the program, please contact:

Emily Boylan, Research Analyst
Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario

For questions about the application process in RMS please contact a Research Programs Coordinator in the Office of Research (Agri-Food Partnership) at

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