Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) and Ontario Genomics – AcCELLerate-ON


The joint Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) – Ontario Genomics AcCELLerate-ON – Food Innovation with Cellular Agriculture Competition will provide teams with funding for novel and innovative projects in cellular agriculture with impact in/implications for the food sector. Projects must drive food innovation, address industry opportunities, solve challenges, and benefit the cellular agriculture ecosystem and food and beverage industry in Ontario.

Comments on Funding:

The CFIN-Ontario Genomic competition will involve 12 to 18 month projects ranging from $150K to 200K.

Successful AcCELLerate applicants are required to contribute 25% of total eligible project costs and to provide a project management fee of 5% of total eligible project costs.

Total eligible project costs should be between $150,000 and $200,000. The maximum level of matching funding from CFIN will be 50% of total eligible project costs (between $75,000 and $100,000) and from Ontario Genomics will be 25% of total eligible project costs (between $37,500 and $50,000). The remaining 25% (between $37,500 and $50,000) must be provided by the applicant.

Stacking with other government funds (municipal, provincial or federal) is not allowable.


Applicants must:

  • be Ontario-led creative partnerships and collaborative teams (e.g., teams comprising industry, academia, industry-academia, industry-industry, industry-other) that are in the position to address the identified opportunity or challenge and implement the outcomes from the project.
  • be members of the Canadian Food Innovation Network.

Industry eligibility:

  • Start-ups, Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs), a business with 499 or fewer employees and less than $50 million in gross revenues, and large corporations have a wide range of needs to overcome barriers to food innovation and research projects that lead to commercializable innovation outcomes. 
  • Large corporations can partner on projects but are not eligible to be lead applicants or receive funding.

To qualify for funding, all projects must:

  • be led by a start-up or SME5 that is incorporated in Ontario or an Ontario-based researcher (universities or colleges) in the food ecosystem. Multi- and cross-disciplinary innovators are encouraged to apply with resulting innovations that are applicable to the food sector;
  • identify a specific cellular agriculture food innovation and research project with a clear methodology and defined goal or outcome that has or will lead to commercial application, or benefit the Ontario cellular agriculture ecosystem more broadly;
  • include use of genomics or engineering biology technologies, or be genomics or engineering biology-enabled;
  • demonstrate benefits both to Ontario and to the food and beverage industry;
  • conduct research and development at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1 to 7. Projects including TRL 8 and 9 components will only be considered if they are part of a project that also includes a TRL 1 to 7 (see 4.3 Technology Readiness Level Eligibility Requirements for further information);
  • advance TRL during or shortly following the project, or describe how industry will utilize project outcomes to advance TRL level (applicable to academic lead applicants only);
  • include a financing plan/budget indicating what the estimated cost is to advance the food innovation and research forward from its current state to be closer to market readiness or at market readiness;
  • Each project must be matched with 25% cash contribution from the lead applicant (to a total project size of $150,000 – $200,000).
  • be undertaken by members of CFIN (lead applicant).

These projects could include partners or collaborators from provinces or territories outside of Ontario if crucial to the success of the project, however funding in this program must be spent and benefits from the project must be realized in Ontario.

Other Things to Note:

  1. The Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) is an industry-led, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to becoming the world-leading innovation network for food and beverage.
  2. CFIN and Ontario Genomics will communicate funding results by March 31, 2022. 
  3. Projects will be expected to start on May 1, 2022.

Program Contact:


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