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Grains Innovation Fund Reaches its 15th Year, Open for Applications

Guelph, Ont. August 23, 2023 – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers, is now accepting applications for the 2024 Grains Innovation Fund.

“This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Grains Innovation Fund. Throughout history, grains and oilseeds have maintained a resilient and adaptable role in driving innovation across multiple sectors,” says Paul Hoekstra, Vice President of Strategic Development, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Grains Innovation Fund projects continue to break new ground and help drive the market reach and use of Ontario’s exceptional grain products.”

The Grains Innovation Fund seeks innovative projects from different organizations across Ontario that will utilize a minimum of 40 metric tonnes annual of Ontario barley, corn, oats, soybeans, wheat or associated crop residues and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Open new markets for Ontario grains or grain residues
  •  Expand the use and demand for Ontario grains or grain residues
  • Promote Ontario grains or grain residues as the best choice
  • Support development of novel, value-added products derived from Ontario grains or grain residues
  • Increase the value (premiums) of Ontario grains or grain residues

The Grains Innovation Fund provides eligible companies and organizations up to 60 per cent of the cost of a project to a maximum of $75,000. The fund invites innovators spanning the entire value chain, encompassing participants from the grain handling system, food, and feed manufacturers, bioproduct pioneers, marketers, retailers, and beyond.

This year, Grain Farmers of Ontario has identified specific themes that are a priority for investment, though all project proposals that meet the fund criteria will be considered

  • Food processing projects that have the potential to utilize large volumes of commodity grains and oilseeds for novel uses
  • Projects focused on next generation bio-economy grains-based solutions such as renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel and bio-based materials like compostable plastics
  • Projects for the feed industry that maximize the potential for Ontario grains in animals’ diets
  • Projects that will support new, scalable, value-added processing opportunities in Ontario
  • Projects with significant market reach that promote Ontario grain- and oilseed-based products in a positive manner that can demonstrably increase customer awareness and demand

Some of the previously successful projects include wheat-based pelletized straw, Ontario corn-fed beef promotion in Japan, a new soybean-based tempeh product, cat litter made of wheat by-products, upcycled grain food products promotion, by-products for soybean-based tofu production and more.

For more information on the program and application details, please visit Applications for the 2024 Grains Innovation Fund must be submitted by email to by 4 p.m. on November 3, 2023.