Fisheries & Oceans Canada: Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program


Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO)


Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

For More Information



The Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP) is a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) initiative that promotes collaborative research activities between the aquaculture industry and the department, teaming industry representatives with DFO researchers. The projects are primarily conducted within DFO research facilities, but field work may also take place at industry or other partner facilities. Potential projects are proposed by aquaculture producers and funded jointly through the ACRDP and the participating aquaculture producer collaborators.
The key goals of the program are to:
  • Improve the sustainability of the Canadian aquaculture industry;
  • Increase collaborative research between the department and industry;
  • Facilitate the process of technology transfer and knowledge mobilization; and
  • Increase scientific capacity of the Canadian aquaculture industry for essential aquaculture research.
The program has two broad Research Objectives:
  • Optimal Fish Health. The sustainability of the marine and freshwater aquaculture industry in Canada is dependent on the health and proper health management of the farmed aquatic animals (fish, shellfish, and seaweed). Funded research is intended to assist the aquaculture sector in improving fish health management practices and better understand pathogen and disease interactions.
  • Environmental Performance. This objective is aimed at supporting research that will enhance the overall environmental sustainability of aquaculture operations in Canada with the goal of enhancing environmental responsibility while insuring economic viability and optimal product quality.


Eligible industry applicants that may apply as “Industry Collaborators” are:
  • Aquaculture producers operating within Canada who are directly involved in producing aquatic species for pre-commercial or commercial purposes. Aquaculture production is defined as growing an aquatic species and further, that the aquaculture producer has ownership of the product or has an aquaculture license or lease to culture the product.
  • Producers undertaking commercial or developmental production activities on existing or new aquaculture species.
  • Aquaculture companies or associations involved with sea ranching mariculture operations.
  • Industry producer associations or consortia of producers are also eligible to apply.
Eligible to participate as a “Partner” with an “Industry Collaborator” are:
  • Other aquaculture sector stakeholders. (This is likely where University of Guelph faculty would fit into an application. Please contact DFO directly regarding eligibility)
Expenses eligible to be covered by ACRDP include:
  • Wages and salaries plus associated required payroll benefits of project-specific personnel (scientific and technical) or post-doctoral or graduate student support;
  • Equipment directly related to the work. (It is important to note that the equipment purchased using ACRDP funding remains the property of Fisheries and Oceans Canada);
  • Laboratory and field supplies;
  • Travel costs directly related to the goals of the project;
  • Other expenses agreed to be necessary to the success of the project.

Maximum Project Value

The minimum industry contribution is 30% of the ACRDP amount requested, at least 7.5% of which must be a cash contribution with the remainder as in-kind contributions. Industry cash contributions to a project will be managed through a DFO Specified Purpose Account (SPA).

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

For 2020-2021, the ACRDP will be accepting proposals for only one-year projects.

Proposals should aim to address research issues in such a way that an outcome can be achieved in a single year. Subsequent phases or additions to these one-year projects may be considered in future, separate program submissions.

Special Notes

The collaborative arrangement will consist of a formal agreement between Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Industry Collaborator(s), and in some instances other funding partners. A schedule to the agreement will contain a detailed description of the Project (activities, deliverables, timeframes to be carried out by DFO and the industry partner under the agreement or by a third party under contract agreement to DFO and the industry partner), with estimated amounts to be expended on each activity. The agreement will set out the method and schedule of payment to DFO and reporting requirements. DFO will be authorized to transfer funding between budget items in consultation with the partner. A schedule listing categories of eligible expenses, including sources of funding from other than the program, will also be included as part of the agreement. If appropriate an Intellectual Property agreement will be negotiated.


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

Internal Deadline

If you are participating on an application led by an Industry Collaborator, please submit a copy of the application, budget and a signed OR-5 to Please indicate on the OR-5 if any funds will be coming to Guelph.

External Deadline

The lead industry collaborator will be responsible for submitting the application to the ACRDP National Co-ordinator at


For Questions, please contact
Applicants wanting information or assistance on the ACRDP should direct their inquiries to the ACRDP National Coordinator or Provincial Coordinator:
ACRDP National Coordinator
Tricia Gheorghe
Phone: (613) 998-3765
Ontario Provincial Coordinator
Doug Geiling
Phone: (705) 941-2670

Office of Research

Amy Bossaer, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x58613

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