Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Gryphon’s LAAIR Call for Proposals


Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance (OMAFRA/UofG Agreement)


The Gryphon's LAAIR (Leading to the Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research) Funding Program provides Innovation Grants to academic innovators at the University of Guelph to increase private sector commercialization of new technologies that will enrich the Ontario agri-food sector. These Innovation Grants provide targeted financial support to researchers to reduce existing barriers that are preventing industry from adopting and commercializing these innovative technologies. Grants will be used to turn new technologies into innovations through disciplined, evidence-based market research, prototype development, product feature optimization, market analysis, business model design, value proposition enhancement, new venture creation, and customer discovery.

These grants provide targeted financial support to help researchers:

  1. Validate and confirm the market opportunity for a new technology by performing primary and secondary market research. (Market Validation Grants)
  2. Develop and optimize their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) based on a new technology and remove any existing barriers that are preventing industry from adopting and commercializing the technology. (Product Development Grants)

For further information about this call, please visit the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance and consult the 2021 Gryphon’s LAAIR Program Guide.

A town hall information session will take place November 3, 2020 at 3 p.m. via Microsoft Teams. Join the meeting on November 3 at this link: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting. The presentation will be recorded and posted to the Alliance website.


University of Guelph faculty members are eligible to be the lead applicant and/or a co-applicant on any Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Research Program project. Adjunct faculty members may also apply if they are eligible to hold research funding at the University of Guelph.

Prior to being awarded any new project(s) under the OMAFRA/UofG Agreement, lead applicants and co-applicants must be fully compliant with all reporting requirements for existing projects under the Alliance Research Program.

Project Leaders (applicants) must be able to demonstrate an appropriate level of expertise related to the developmental needs of the new technology.

Funding Availability

A total of $350,000 will be allocated to successful proposals using two types of grants. Funds will be available to start projects in May 2021.

Market Validation Grants:

  • Up to $20,000 each, three to five grants will be awarded
  • Project duration up to one year

P​roduct Development Grants: 

  • Up to $100,000 each, three to four grants will be awarded
  • Project duration up to three years

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs (overhead) are zero (0%), therefore all funding will be allocated to the operational budget outlined in your grant proposal.

Special Notes

Successfully funded and completed Market Validation Projects will be useful to increase the probability of securing a Product Development Grant in the following year.


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

External Deadline
  • Call open: October 14, 2020
  • Program town hall (information session): November 3, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Full Proposals due: December 15, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Award decisions: February 2021

How to Apply

Online Application Process

Applications must be submitted on-line using the OMAFRA Research Management System (RMS). A new RMS platform was launched in October 2019.

If you have an RMS account but have not accessed the RMS since October 2019 enter your uoguelph.ca email address on the RMS login page, select “Forgot Password” and follow the prompts. If you have never used the RMS system, select “Register” on the login page to create a new account.  Consult the program guide for more information or contact rescoord@uoguelph.ca for login assistance if needed.

Pre-submission Consultation

All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact staff at the Research Innovation Office (RIO) before applying to discuss the suitability of a potential proposal.  

RIO Staff includes David Hobson, Martin Ciuk, Rattan Gill, Blake Helka, Kelly Ziegler, Dana McCauley or Steve DeBrabandere.

For Questions, please contact

If you have questions about the funding program, criteria, or project fit please contact David Hobson (dhobson@uoguelph.ca),Gryphon’s LAAIR Program Coordinator in the Research Innovation Office.

If you have questions related to RMS technical issues please contact Kat Tisshaw, Zach Telfer, or Tania Etienne, Research Programs Coordinators in the Office of Research (Agri-Food Partnership), at rescoord@uoguelph.ca.

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