Call for Expressions of Interest - Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture Berry Industry (2018-2023)


Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC)


Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture Berry 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, CHC is 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 berry industry, including blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Key Priority Area

Strategic Outcome

Investment Priorities

Integrated Pest Management

Effective tools, resources, and practices to manage new and existing pests

  • Reducing pesticide use by alternative products or techniques (e.g., technology, bio-controls, etc.)
  • Resistance management (e.g., new active ingredients, chemical groups, affordable tools for growers to evaluate the efficacy of IPM products and monitor pest pressure)
  • Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)
  • Predictive models (e.g. growing degree days, biovigilance, disease and insect lifecycle modeling based on weather, etc.)
  • Continued support for responsive minor use registration system

Cultivar Development

New, profitable cultivars that meet consumer and market demand

  • Development of new cultivars with the following features:
    • resistance to insects & diseases; and
    • high quality / increased shelf life; and
    • uniform ripening / machine harvesting; and
    • consumer preferences (size, flavor, etc.); and
    • timing according to global demand
  • Regional development and testing of cultivars for adaptation to regional conditions

Product-Market Development

50 new, value-added berry-based products that meet global demand

  • Pre-commercialization support programs for new product development (e.g., nutritional labels, storage, benchtop recipes to go, market testing, business plan, risk management, etc.)
  • Infrastructure from pilot project to reality (e.g., kitchens)
  • Consumer trends and consumer preferences for domestic and export market opportunities
  • Collaboration with the value chain

Health Research

Sustained investment in new clinical trials on the health benefits of berry consumption

  • Recruitment of new researchers, supporting students and universities
  • Supported and valid peer review for health research proposals (to evaluate and determine whether this research has already been done)
  • Investment in WBANA to leverage industry funds (wb)


Farmers have the necessary tools to optimize their quality and cost of production

  • Cost of production modelling (e.g., software programs, predictive modelling)
  • Tools for monitoring (e.g., drones, automatic pheromone traps reporting through cloud based systems, weather stations, irrigation and soil nutrient equipment reporting to smartphones or tablets through cloud based systems, equipment to read plant health through scans)
  • Precision farming equipment (e.g., harvesters that produce quality product to facilitate processing and lower the loss, fertilizer applicators)
  • Fertilization – both organic and conventional
  • Pollination
  • Cold chain improvement

Enabling Strategy:

Knowledge Collection, Translation and Transfer

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 Expressions of Interest must be submitted to the sponsor no later than end of business March 8, 2017.

How to Apply

This is a two stage application process:

1. Expression of Interest

  • Please complete the attached Expressions of Interest Form and return it to Amy Argentino by end of business March 8, 2017, via email to: with the subject line: Berry – Expression of Interest.
  • Researchers are not required 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 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 provide a full research proposal for consideration.  Those invited to submit a full proposal must submit their full proposal to the Office of Research two weeks in advance of the sponsor's deadline with a signed OR-5. 

Information For Co-applicants

If you are part of an application or tram that has been invited to submit a full proposal but are not the lead, please contact the Office of Research as soon as possible.

For Questions, please contact

Amy Argentino
Manager, Projects and Programs
Canadian Horticultural Council
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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