Agri-Food Research

With generous funding from MITACS, a nonprofit national research organization, this project aims to map the landscape of agri-food research funding programs. Our primary objective is to assess the alignment of funding initiatives with the key focus areas in the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy (SAS) and The Guelph Statement.

The Simpson Centre aims to quantify the tangible benefits, both commercial and public, stemming from both public and private investments in agri-food research, as well as conduct a jurisdictional scan of Canadian funding. This includes a comparative analysis with select OECD nations to gauge Canada’s standing in terms of competitiveness and innovation in the agri-food sector.

Where we are now


The development of innovative research and the adoption of technology are important for enhancing the Canadian agricultural sector. This sector experiences significant pressure to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the production of high-quality products. Innovative approaches can also increase the value added to Canadian products on the global market.

A significant aspect of Canadian research lies in understanding the diverse sources of funding, both private and public, available in the agri-food sector. Coordination, and collaboration among multiple stakeholders play a pivotal role in enabling the adoption of agricultural technology (AgTech). However, lack of reliable data on research funding and research activities hampers further research and effective public policy analysis.


Over nine months, Simpson Centre researchers will:

  • Identify major funding institutions and agri-food research projects from 2013 to the present.
  • Identify the priorities of public and private funding institutions in Canada’s agri-food sector.
  • Evaluate alignment of research with governments’ priorities as defined by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Assess academic and non-academic literature to map the competitive advantages in select OECD agri-food sectors and their associated (if any) innovation ecosystems.


Our findings will result in:

  • A database of topics and priorities, sources, funding expenditure, and investments from 2013 to the present.
  • An empirical analysis report on the efficiency and effectiveness of funding in agri-food research.
  • A report summarizing the competitive advantages in select OECD countries in relation to Canadian agri-food.
  • A policy brief that provides insights derived from findings and recommendations, aimed at developing a sustainable agri-food system in Canada.


For more details on the Agri-Food Research Program:

Sabrina Gulab at [email protected]

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