The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), through the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) under Sustainable CAP, offers support to innovative companies to advance more solutions and technologies to market by providing mentoring and advisory services in agri-food business acceleration, growth planning, and investment readiness, as well as to provide supports to businesses across the agri-food supply chain with respect to adoption of innovation.

The Grow Ontario Accelerator Hub Initiative (the Hub Initiative) supports the Grow Ontario Strategy which aims to increase the creation and adoption of innovative technologies to enhance competitiveness, grow market opportunities and strengthen the sector against future disruptions. The objective of this Initiative is to provide a suite of advisory services and mentorship to innovative companies in Ontario.

Participation in the Hub Initiative is subject to the following Terms and Conditions (TC). The submission of an application to join the Hub (Application) constitutes acceptance by the Applicant(s) of the terms, conditions and provisions set out below.


The Hub Initiative invites Ontario-based eligible applicants to apply to receive mentorship and advisory services support to advance their innovative agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products, solutions and technologies to market. These efforts aim to enhance competitiveness and the leadership position of Ontario in the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

Duration: up to 12 months

Start Date: Anticipated start dates will be on or after April 1, 2024. Start and end dates may vary. 

Mentorship and Advisory Services Support: up to twenty-five hours (25) of mentorship per company and advisory services support may include but are not limited to the areas of marketing, intellectual property, financial, regulatory, business strategies, investment preparation and international /export development.


Eligible Applicants are: 

  • For-profit SME’s incorporated in Canada with less than 50 employees
  • For-profit SMEs with technologies at / or beyond Technology Readiness Level 3 (TRL-3+) stage of development
  • Must be located in Ontario
  • Must have eligible business activities that:
    • take place in Ontario 
    • that address the OMAFRA key priority areas and the Initiative objectives as referenced below
  • Must have a product/technology/service that is unique to Ontario and does not displace existing Ontario products
  • Must be operating in the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sectors, including technology or equipment suppliers to the sector
  • The companies’ primary business activities must align with at least one of the 10 approved OMAFRA key priority areas listed below:
  • Food Safety
    • Enhance public confidence in the sector to deliver on food safety, animal health, plant health, emergency management, and animal welfare expectations and demands. 
    • Anticipate, detect, mitigate and/or reduce food safety hazards along the supply chain.
  • Animal Health & Welfare: 
    • Enhance public confidence in the sector to deliver on food safety, animal health, plant health, emergency management, and animal welfare expectations and demands. 
    • Anticipate, detect, mitigate and/or reduce animal health hazards and antimicrobial use along the supply chain. 
  • Plant Health & Protection: 
    • Enhance public confidence in the sector to deliver on food safety, animal health, plant health, emergency management, and animal welfare expectations and demands. 
    • Help strengthen the agri-food sector’s sustainability and social license through increased utilization of integrated pest management (IPM) and other pest mitigation strategies. 
    • Anticipate, detect, mitigate and/or reduce plant hazards along the supply chain, and improve plant resilience and resistance.
  • Soil Health: 
    • Protect and enhance soil health and water quality, supporting improved public confidence in the sector to deliver on sustainability expectations.
    • Improve soil health and conservation to support agricultural productivity.
  • Water Quality and Quantity: 
    • Protect and enhance soil health and water quality, supporting improved public confidence in the sector to deliver on sustainability expectations.
    • Strengthen the agri-food sector’s sustainability and social licence through improved water use and water quality. 
  • Sustainable Production Systems: 
    • Strengthen the sustainability of the agri-food sector through (1) Soil health and conservation, (2) Improved water quality (e.g., reduced phosphorus runoff and pesticides), (3) Increased water/waste/energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and (4) Increased utilization of 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship (right source, right rate, right time, and right place). 
  • Productive Land Capacity: 
    • Reduce the rate of loss of farmland through improved land use planning to support agricultural viability. 
  • Competitive Production Systems: 
    • Improve production efficiency, productivity, competitiveness and public trust efforts through technology adoption and innovation and technology development such a labour-saving technology or practices, automation, waste reduction, recycling, and increased water/waste/energy efficiency and reduced GHG emissions.
  • Innovative Products & Product Improvements: 
    • Enhance competitiveness, profitability, and growth of the agri-food sector through new or improved products.
  • Trade Market & Targeted Sector Growth Opportunities: 
    • Growth of the overall agri-food sector through expansion of existing and access to new domestic and international markets. 
    • Improve economic performance of identified priority sub-sectors and increased production of niche and/or value-add products. 
    • Priority areas include dairy goats, hazelnuts, greenhouse, maple syrup, processed vegetables, processed meats, baked goods, and cannabis/hemp.

Application Process

Call for Applications:

On an annual basis, Bioenterprise will launch an open call for applications. Each call will provide for the selection of a maximum of 20 companies to join the Hub Initiative. Calls will remain open until the maximum number of applicants have been selected and approved to join the Hub Initiative.

Applications must be submitted online through the Bioenterprise website. Email, mail, in-person, and facsimile (fax) submissions will not be accepted. Bioenterprise Canada reserves the right to void or not accept any application.

Upon submitting an application, a confirmation email will be provided. Applicants are encouraged to retain a copy of their completed submission for ease of reference until decisions are made. 

Application Selection and Notification  

Applications received will be submitted to a Review Panel for evaluation. All reviewers are bound by Bioenterprise’s conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.

The Review Panel will evaluate the applications according to the following criteria: 

  • The company’s fit within the OMAFRA priority areas, the objectives of Bioenterprise, and key priorities under Sustainable CAP 

Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified of acceptance/decline decisions by e-mail by Bioenterprise Canada within 40-days of submission. Successful applicants enter into a Mentorship and Advisory Services Agreement with Bioenterprise. 

Bioenterprise Canada accepts no liability for incorrect or incomplete contact information provided to it. If an Applicant cannot be contacted in the manner described above or fails to respond in a timely manner, their application may be declined.

Bioenterprise assumes no responsibility for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network, telephone lines, computer online systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, or the failure of any application to be received by them on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof.

Grow Ontario Accelerator Hub – Timeline

2024 Hub Initiative Launch January 15, 2024 
2024Round 1 Recipient Announcement Spring 2024
2025Round 2 Application Intake Opens TBD Spring 2025
2026Round 3 Application Intake OpensTBD Spring 2026
2027Round 4 Application Intake Opens TBD Spring 2027

*Dates listed above are subject to change. Please refer to the Bioenterprise website for updates.

Reporting Requirements 

The Mentorship and Advisory Services Agreement outlines the reporting requirements as follows:

  • Final report:
    • All successful applicants must submit a final report on overall goals, achieved outcomes, results and economic benefits of the project. Bioenterprise will provide a Final Report template.
    • All final reports are due 31 days following the completion of the 12-month term of the Mentorship and Advisory Services Agreement.
  • Annual Client Surveys:
    • All successful applicants must complete Annual Client Surveys for up to six (6) years after the completion of the Mentorship and Advisory Services Agreement. Client surveys are designed to report on Initiative objectives, to measure achievements and to provide feedback on engagement with Bioenterprise.

Retention of Reports 

Recipients are required to keep official records, including all interim, annual, and final reports, and supporting claims documentation for a minimum of seven (7) years following the conclusion of the Project Contribution Agreement.

Release and Waiver

By submitting an Application to the Hub, each applicant releases and holds harmless Bioenterprise, their affiliates and subsidiaries, advertising and promotional agencies, any committee members or review panel members (as defined in these T&Cs) appointed by them, and in each case their respective directors, officers, owners, employees, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, from any liability in connection with the Hub Initiative or resulting from participation in the Hub Initiative or the acceptance, possession or use of any grant, including, without limitation, infringement of intellectual property rights, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy.

By submitting an Application, the Applicant grants Bioenterprise the right to use his/her name, address, likeness, photograph, information about their application, and statements in advertising and for other promotional or publicity purposes without further compensation.

Applicants agree to be automatically enrolled as Bioenterprise Engine Insiders and will be added to the Bioenterprise Engine Insider mailing list. Applicants who do not wish to continue receiving Bioenterprise Insider emails can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Unsubscribing does not affect an Applicant’s ability to participate in the Hub Initiative in any way. 

Disclosure and Ownership of Intellectual Property

All Applicants will retain ownership of all subsisting intellectual property rights in the subject matter of their applications.

Bioenterprise and OMAFRA do not claim ownership of IP resulting from activities supported through this Initiative. Refer to the Mentorship and Advisory Services  Agreement.

Publishing and Promotion

Bioenterprise reserves the right to publish information about the Applicants and their work, in publications or online, and to release information to the media, which may include but is not limited to radio, television, print media, and the Internet.

Any photographs or film footage or other media captured during the applicant’s participation in the Hub Initiative will be the property of Bioenterprise and may be used by Bioenterprise, in their sole and absolute discretion, in any manner they see fit.

Applicants are required to participate on all online promotion of the Hub Initiative by posting on their own social media channels using templates provided by Bioenterprise and by reposting Bioenterprise social media posts for the duration of their 12 (twelve) month term in the Hub Initiative.


Bioenterprise and/or OMAFRA reserve the right to suspend, delay or cancel the Hub Initiative or to modify these TC for any reason at their absolute discretion or as required by applicable law.