Agriculture sector attracts $12M in new funding

Canadian businesses and organizations in the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector attracted more than $12 million in funding last week, reveals data gathered by The Funding Portal.

Agriculture and Agri-Food is one of Canada’s leading industry sectors, generating $103.5 billion in revenues in 2012, or 6.7% of the country’s GDP. Of the top 500 companies to secure government funding in 2013, 43 were in the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector. These companies secured a combined $89.7 million, for an average award of $2.1 million.

Last week, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada received $7 million from the federal government to launch a first-of-its-kind national bioproducts cluster. This cluster will help bridge the gap between research and commercialization by connecting technology development projects across the country. The expected results will put farm waste to profitable use. Funding was provided through the Industry-led Research and Development stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program. The program will deliver up to $698 million in funding over five years under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework.

The program offers funding under two streams: Industry-led Research and Development, and Enabling Commercialization and Adoption. The total maximum contribution under both streams is $10 million per year per applicant.

Leamington, Ontario-based Competitive Green Technologies also received funding of $3 million under the AgriInnovation Program last week to lead collaborative pilot-scale testing of purpose-grown agricultural fibres and residues in bioplastic and biocomposite products, leading to new uses for non-food crops in industrial materials. Natural fibre composites are rapidly growing in popularity as a recyclable low-cost substitute to synthetic, petroleum-based fibre composites.

Another active fund under Growing Forward 2 is the AgriMarketing Program, a five-year, $341-million initiative. The Canadian Livestock Genetics Association received $1.6 million from the fund last week to help open new export markets for Canadian dairy and small ruminants genetics.

Funding under the AgriMarketing Program is available to both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and nonprofits. SMEs are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $50,000 per year to support their advertising, branding and promotion activities, as well as their participation in events, such as trade seminars, tradeshows, and exploratory missions.

A third fund is available under Growing Forward 2 – the $114.5 million AgriCompetitiveness Program. The program aims to help the sector adapt to rapidly changing and emerging global and national market trends. The fund is delivered under three streams: Facilitating Sector Capacity, which supports value chain roundtables; Fostering Business Development, which helps nurture entrepreneurial capacity, skills development, and industry leadership; and Facilitating and Supporting a Modern Regulatory Environment, which facilitates collaboration between industry and regulators.

Five more companies in the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector secured funding last week. Learn more about these companies through the portal’s FundingAwardsTM service, or try the portal’s Search Widget to access the 800 government funding programs applicable to organizations in the Agriculture and Agri-Food sector.

FundingAwards – Who got Funded – Week of Sept. 8

Overall Disbursements:  Funding from federal and provincial governments grows to $18.9M this week, compared to $1.7M last week.

Top Sector: Agriculture and Agri-Food is the top sector this week, attracting $9.8M, 68% of the total amount disbursed.

Top Region: Ontario is the top province this week, attracting 73% of the total amount disbursed.

Top Recipients in Ontario: 

  • Industry: Competitive Green Technologies receives $3 million from the federal AgriInnovation Program to lead collaborative pilot-scale testing of purpose-grown agricultural fibres and residues in bioplastic and biocomposite products.
  • Hospitals, Universities, Research Centres & Industry Associations: Bioindustrial Innovation Canada receives $7 million from the federal AgriInnovation Program to support the creation of a first-of-its-kind national bioproducts cluster.
  • Charities, Non-Profits & Public Sector: Canadian NGO CODE receives $3 million from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) to support a literacy promotion project that will benefit close to 40,000 children from marginalized communities in Kenya.

Funding Disbursed by Industry Sector:


Funding Disbursed by Province:


Active Funding Programs this Week:

  • Aboriginal Languages Initiative
  • AgriInnovation Program
  • AgriMarketing Program
  • Building Communities Through Arts & Heritage
  • Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
  • Canadian Initiative for the Economic Diversification of Communities Reliant on Chrysotile
  • Celebration & Commemoration Program
  • Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF)
  • Development of Official-Language Communities Program
  • Fonds de diversification économique de la MRC des Sources
  • Fonds d’initiative et de rayonnement de la métropole
  • Hosting Program
  • Investissement Québec
  • Pesticide Risk Reduction Program
  • Programme de soutien au fonctionnement pour les événements littéraires nationaux et internationaux
  • Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP)
  • Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program

To receive daily reports on which organizations received funding in Canada, subscribe to The Funding Portal’s FundingAwards™ service.

Canadian Private Financing and M&A News Roundup – Week of Sept. 8

  • Cleantech
    • Vancouver’s Mantra Energy Alternatives Ltd. was accepted into the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) CleanTech program for the Fall of 2014. The program, which accepts a handful of companies by application for each cohort, was established and is managed by the Consulates General of Canada in New York and San Francisco.
    • Surrey-based Endurance Wind Power raised $10M in debt financing from Comerica Bank. The company is a manufacturer of advanced small wind turbines from 5 to 50kW in size, designed specifically for distributed wind power applications.
  • Energy
    • Canadian Imperial Venture Corp. announced that it has entered into a Letter of Intent to acquire Beothuk Energy Inc.
  • Healthtech
    • Toronto-based Tornado Spectral Systems raised an undisclosed amount from BeauVest and Roadmap Capital. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes optical spectroscopy instruments for sample identification, detection, diagnosis, and imaging.
  • Natural Resources
    • True North Gems Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Leonhard Nilsen & Sonner A/S and LNS Greenland A/S under which the combined LNS entities will provide more than $11M in financing to the Company and the Company’s operating subsidiary in Greenland, True North Gems.
  • Real Estate
    • Vancouver-based Parkit raised $5M post-IPO. The company is a publicly listed private equity real estate company which acquires and aggregates income-producing real estate in the parking sector.
  • Tech
    • Vancouver-based Visier Inc., which provides cloud-based workforce analytics for business managers and human resource professionals, raised a $15M Series B financing round led by U.S. venture capital firm Summit Partners and existing backer Foundation Capital.
    • The Herjavec Group announced the acquisition of Toronto-based Sentry Metrics, a leading managed security service provider (MSSP).
    • Elastic Path Software raised $5.35M in a new financing round led by BDC Venture Capital IT Fund, Yaletown Venture Partners, and several angel investors. The company is focused on the next-generation e-commerce market.
    • Ottawa-based BLINQ Networks raised a $15.1M round led by Summerhill Venture Partners, BDC Venture Capital, Kensington Global Private Equity Fund and Win Fund. BLINQ Networks is the pioneer in developing next-generation non-line-of sight (NLOS) wireless backhaul products for compact base stations that enable wireless carriers to address the growth in demand for capacity.
  • Telecommunications
    • Globalive Capital, the investment company of WIND Mobile‘s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Lacavera, acquired all of VimpelCom‘s direct and indirect debt and equity interests in WIND Mobile. This acquisition was funded, in part, by a consortium of investors including West Face Capital, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LG Capital Investors, Serruya Private Equity, and Novus Wireless Communications. The next stage of the transaction requires regulatory approval, which the parties are seeking forthwith.

FundingSources – Must Reads

This week’s Must Reads from Funding Agencies and Industry Associations

  • Canadian Heritage: Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for culture and heritage met in Charlottetown to discuss the economic benefits and current state of the cultural landscape and heritage in Canada. New economic data for 2010 were presented that indicate the arts, culture and heritage contribute close to $50 billion to the Canadian economy and represent almost 647,000 jobs throughout the country.
  • Export Development Canada: Export Development Canada (EDC) announced financing of Euro 123 M to Hispasat, a Spanish satellite telecommunications operator, for the construction of a satellite by Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA), and its SSL subsidiary.
  • EDC: EDC announced it has provided more than EUR 180 M in financing to Spain’s Telefonica to make it easier for Telefonica to buy products and services from Alcatel Lucent (ALU).
  • Finance Canada: Minister of Finance Joe Oliver announced the introduction of the new Small Business Job Credit which is expected to save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years. The Small Business Job Credit will effectively lower small businesses’ Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from the current legislated rate of $1.88 to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2015 and 2016. Any firm that pays employer EI premiums equal to or less than $15,000 in those years will be eligible for the credit. Almost 90% of all EI premium-paying businesses in Canada will receive the credit, reducing their EI payroll taxes by nearly 15%.
  • Finance Canada: British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and the federal government have signed a Memorandum of Agreement formalizing the terms and conditions of the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System. Consultation drafts of uniform provincial capital markets legislation and complementary federal legislation are also being released for public comment.
  • Invest Ottawa: Invest Ottawa updated its procurement opportunities page.
  • KPMG: A new KPMG International survey has found that 58% of family businesses are currently seeking external financing to fund their investment plans, but finding the right strategic investment partner can be challenging.
  • MEQ: Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) announceD the appointment of Éric Tétrault as president of Quebec Manufacturers and exporters (QME). Tétrault arrives at CME from a successful stint as head of government and public affairs with ArcelorMittal Mining Canada, where he oversaw issue and relational management with all levels of government.
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence: Ontario Centres of Excellence of Excellence (OCE) and HIGHLINE, a new pan-Canadian Accelerator Platform, have joined forces to provide promising Ontario tech startups with critically important seed funding and entrepreneurship skills training. The two organizations will contribute up to $30,000 each to successful applicants as well as provide them with entrepreneurship skills training.
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation: Canada’s leading grant maker, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is joining the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games as its Official Community Supporter.
  • RBC: The bank released its RBC Economics Provincial Outlook and Economic and Financial Market Outlook, which had the following findings:
    • Stronger external demand and the benefits of a more competitive Canadian dollar lifted Canada’s exports in the second quarter of 2014, lifting overall economic growth from weather-related weakness early in the year.
    • Ontario’s economy is on track for accelerated growth in 2014, driven by a long-awaited turnaround in exports and a rebound in residential investment.
    • Despite mixed performances across its industrial sectors to date, the overall pace of growth in Quebec’s economy is likely to be stronger this year than it was in 2013.
    • The vast majority of indicators continue to tell a firmly upbeat story about Alberta’s economic strength, as momentum gives no signs of easing.
    • Economic conditions in British Columbia have constructively evolved and are advancing at a respectable pace led by impressive gains in export markets.
    • Manitoba’s economic growth is showing signs of moderation in 2014.
    • Saskatchewan’s economy is expected to weaken in 2014, but the slowdown will be short-lived.
    • Atlantic Canada’s economy is poised for modest growth in 2014, led by accelerated activity in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
  • SDTC: Join The Funding Portal at SDTC workshops in Quebec and Ontario this week.

QP Briefing: Recession’s over, so invest (and invest in accessibility), Duguid urges

By Geoff Zochodne

The minister of economic development dared the business community Monday to pick up some of the slack in the economy and start making investments, like hiring more people with disabilities.

In so many words, Brad Duguid told a Toronto Region Board of Trade luncheon that the government was leading the private sector to water but was waiting for them to take a drink.

“The fact is, as hard as I may try, government can only work to create an inviting environment for job creation and economic growth,” said Duguid. “It’s you folks here in this room and throughout our business community, our business leaders, that really create the jobs and drive investment in Ontario.”

The Liberals have been pressing corporate Ontario to reinvest more and have frozen corporate taxes and provided other financial breaks to encourage companies to expand and create jobs.

In its July budget, the government also created a 10-year jobs and prosperity fund to lure new investments and continue its partnerships and subsidies with business.

Duguid said part of his job is to build confidence in the business community – he declared “the global recession is now in our rearview mirror” during his speech.

“We went through a tough recession and I think we are somewhat, in some ways, mired in recessionary thinking that’s made us a little more timid in terms of our business community and some of the investments they could be making,” Duguid told reporters after his keynote remarks. “We need to be bold because we have a lot of competitive advantages here.”

The economic development minister had outlined some of the measures the government had or will be taking, such as $130 billion for infrastructure over the next 10 years.

One investment Duguid is looking for from the business community is in accessibility, as he was also there to announce the inception of the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility, honours designed to reward individuals and organizations taking noteworthy strides to tackle accessibility and disability issues.

Duguid said there is a “strong business case” for businesses to hire those with disabilities. Moreover, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the province is attempting to become fully accessible by 2025, making 2015 the halfway point for the law’s implementation.

“And we need businesses to see this not as a burden of compliance but an economic opportunity to tap into the skills and talent of a diverse group of people that are currently underutilized and expand as well their customer base,” Duguid said in his speech.

Later, Duguid, borrowing from a Martin Prosperity Institute study, said Ontario becoming accessible could increase its gross domestic product by $7.9 billion a year.

“That tells me I don’t think we can afford not to do this,” he said. “From a taxpayer perspective moving something from a state of dependence on government programs to the position of the taxpayer is simply a really good business proposition.”

The economic development minister declined to commit the government to subsidizing business to increase their accessibility commitments, saying that given the province’s financial straits its something that should be done in partnership with the business community.

Duguid was joined by award-namesake Lt.-Gov. David Onley in pushing for more opportunities in accessibility. Onley touted the economic benefits of hiring people with disabilities to the business crowd.

“There is an airtight business case to do what is counter-intuitive and that is to hire people with disabilities,” Onley told the crowd.

Onley, soon to be replaced by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, said he will be the honourary leader of a new group called Canadian Business Sensibility. It will be comprised of corporations with already-high percentages of disabled employees, he said, some of whom are close to matching the percentage of the population who have accessibility issues. In Ontario one in seven people has a disability, expected to rise to to one in five by 2036.

“I dare say there aren’t many companies yet who have 15 per cent of the work force comprised of disabled people, but a number of them do, increasingly more and more,” said Onley. “They have simply done it because together they recognize it’s the fastest quickest way to increase productivity.”

Canadian Business Sensibility will help businesses answer key questions about hiring people with disabilities, Onley said.

Since taking office in Sept. 2007, Onley has made championing accessibility causes one of the main missions of his office. Now, with the new awards bearing his name, his work has “come full circle,” he said.

His replacement, Dowdeswell, will be sworn in as the province’s 29th lieutenant-governor next Tuesday.

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FundingAwards – Who got Funded – Week of Sept. 1

Overall Disbursements:  Funding from federal and provincial governments drops to $1.7M this week, compared to $128.9M last week.

Top Sector: Arts, Culture & Community is the top sector this week, attracting $1.5M, 83% of the total amount disbursed.

Top Region: Nova Scotia is the top province this week, attracting 42% of the total amount disbursed.

Top Recipients in Ontario: 

  • Industry: No new awards this week.
  • Hospitals, Universities, Research Centres & Industry Associations: No new awards this week.
  • Charities, Non-Profits & Public Sector: The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest receives $87,200 in funding from the federal Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program.

Funding Disbursed by Industry Sector:


Funding Disbursed by Province:


Active Funding Programs this Week:

  • Aboriginal Women’s Program
  • Aide au fonctionnement pour les organismes nationaux de la jeune relève amateur
  • Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program
  • Canada Arts Presentation Fund
  • Community Engagement Partnership Fund
  • Development of Official-Language Communities Program
  • Enabling Accessibility Fund
  • Fonds de développement économique de la région de la Capitale-Nationale
  • Programme d’aide à la diffusion en variétés
  • Programme d’aide aux projets
  • Programme de développement de l’industrie touristique
  • Programme de subventions aux diffuseurs spécialisés en arts de la scène et en arts multidisciplinaires
  • Projets de coopération internationale
  • Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program

To receive daily reports on which organizations received funding in Canada, subscribe to The Funding Portal’s FundingAwards™ service.