Call for Expressions of Interest - Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture and National Field Vegetable Industry (2018-2023)


Canadian Horticulture Council (CHC)


Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture and National Field Vegetable Industry (2018-2023)

For More Information

Expression of Interest Form


The Canadian Horticultural Council is currently exploring the opportunity to establish a third Agri-Science Cluster under the federal government’s upcoming agricultural policy framework for 2018-2023.

The purpose of the program is to help industry-led agricultural organizations pull together national scientific and technical resources to establish clusters in support of innovation and research. Projects for the program must focus on the pre-commercialization development of new agri products, practices and processes in Canada that will make agriculture more profitable and competitive.

To date, the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) has undertaken a number of activities to gather input from members, including commodity groups establishing their national research and innovation strategies and priorities in collaboration with their value chain partners.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Up to five years from April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2023

Special Notes

At this time, we are seeking Expressions of Interest from researchers in Canada who would like to participate in the Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture 3 in the following areas of priority for the field vegetable industry.

Field Vegetable Project Areas, Outcomes and Investment Priorities

Priority Project Areas

Strategic Outcomes

Investment Priority for Research

  1. Priority Project Area

  2. 1: Optimize Production Practices

  1. 1.1. Best practices and the use of automation optimizes the production practices of Canadian growers; and

  2. 1.2. A reduced need on farm inputs.

  • Conduct research in the automation of production as a means to reduce labour costs;

  • Conduct research in order to reduce farm inputs (for instance fertilizer) without impacting yields;

  • Develop best practices to mitigate climate change effects and extreme weather events.

  1. Priority Project Area

  2. 2: Improve Pest and Disease Management Practices

  1. 2.1. The sector employs effective integrated pest management methods widely;

  2. 2.2. Growers have access to knowledge regarding the emergence and prevalence of pests;

  3. 2.3. Growers have effective and cost-effective methods for detecting and monitoring pests;

  4. 2.4. Growers have thresholds for action for the control and management of pests as they relate to various crop development stages.

  • Develop, understand and disseminate effective and safe integrated pest management methods that conciliate crop protection, economic profitability, environmental protection, public health, quality and safety of vegetables.

  • Improve and disseminate knowledge about new and existing pests

  • Develop and transfer tools and methods for detecting and monitoring crop pests

  • Determining genetic basis of disease resistance in breeding program germplasm, and understand the relationship of resistance/susceptibility between growth stages (i.e. spear and fern in asparagus);

  • Develop or modify action thresholds for pests as relating to crop development stage (i.e. number of scouted cabbage maggots per broccoli plant);

  • Priority pests including: wireworm, swedge midge, cabbage maggot, seedcorn maggot, bacterial diseases, sclerotinia white mold, carrot forking and neck rot in onion.

  1. Priority Project Area

  2. 3: Optimize Post-Harvest and Storage Practices

  1. 3.1. Growers use optimized storage methods and technologies that minimize losses and maximize produce quality;

  2. 3.2. Growers employ strategies and approaches that minimizes water usage.

  • Conduct research in storage techniques to minimize losses and improve efficiency;

  • Research conditions required to improve storability of produce;

  • Research on wash water use on vegetable farms.

  1. Priority Project Area

  2. 4: Plant Breeding, Variety Development and Evaluation

  1. 4.1. Ongoing variety research is carried out that improves post-harvest shelf life and quality, adapt to new climatic conditions and increase resistance to bacteria and diseases;

  2. 4.2. Growers benefit from national coordination of variety evaluation.

  • Conduct work on genetic breeding and selection to improve post-harvest shelf life and quality, to adapt to new climatic conditions, to increase resistance to bacteria and diseases (including physiological disorders) and to develop early and late varieties;

  • Conduct variety evaluation on vegetable crops;

  • Develop high yielding, high quality, disease and replant resistant asparagus cultivars; identify the physiological basis of longevity in asparagus and assess genetic architecture for the trait; and conduct field testing of potential new asparagus varieties.

  1. Priority Project Area

  2. 5: Research on the Health Benefits of Vegetables

  1. 5.1. Ongoing research is conducted on the benefit of vegetable consumption.

  2. 5.2. Growers benefit from national coordination of variety evaluation.

  • Recruitment of new researchers, supporting students and universities

  • Support and validate peer review for health research proposals

  1. Enabling Strategy:

  2. Knowledge Collection, Translation and Transfer

  1. National collaboration with growers, universities and government researchers has resulted in

  • Coordination of research;

  • Translation of results;

  • Transfer of knowledge and technologies for grower use; and

  • High adoption rates by industry.

  • Training programs

  • KT Coordinator

  • Communications and dissemination strategies


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

External Deadline

Please note that expressions of interest must be submitted to the sponsor no later than end of business March 8, 2017.

How to Apply

This program has a multi-step application process.

1. Expression of Interest

Please complete the attached Expressions of Interest Form (see For More Information section) and return it to Amy Argentino by end of business May 26, via email to: with the subject line: Vegetable – Expression of Interest.

Researchers are not requires to submit their EOI to the Office of Research for approval before submission to the sponsor.  Researchers are asked to send a copy of their EOI to the Office of Research for information purposes only.  An OR-5 is not required at the EOI stage.  Researchers will be notified by the sponsor if they have been invited to submit a full proposal.

2. Full Proposal

Only successful applicants will be notified and asked to submit a full research proposal. Those invited to full proposal must submit their proposal to the Office of Research along with a signed OR-5 two (2) weeks in advance of the sponsor's deadline.

Information For Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least 5 days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).

For Questions, please contact

Amy Argentino
Manager, Projects and Programs / Gestionnairreprojets and programmes
Canadian Horticultural Council / Conseil canadien de l'horticulture
T. 613 226 4880 (ext. 208)

Office of Research

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

Meghan Grimes, Awards and Agreements Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x54807

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