Weston Seeding Stronger Communities

Seeding Food Innovation: Frequently Asked Questions

How are grants given?
Seeding Food Innovation provides grants to Canada Revenue Agency qualified donees. Grants are primarily given through open call for applications which are then reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Committee. We provide seed funding for interdisciplinary research or technology development that help accelerate solutions to sustainable food challenges. Our thematic focus is on production, distribution and consumption initiatives. Research outcomes should impact primarily Canadians, but also deliver key learnings towards issues of global concern.
What are the stages of an application?
We have a two-stage application process:
  1. Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:00pm EST
  2. Proposal (if invited) Deadline - Tuesday, October 9, 2018 12:00pm EST
At each stage applications will be reviewed by an international panel of experts. Only ~15% of LOIs are invited to the Proposal phase, so that applicants and reviewers can spend their time on Proposals that have an excellent chance of being funded.
What are the key factors used to assess an application?
At the LOI stage, the primary focus of review will be the scientific idea itself. At the Proposal stage, reviewers will place increased consideration on the feasibility/likelihood of success.

At all stages of the application process, we will typically assess:
  • Scientific rigor and innovation
  • Vision and scope of the proposal
  • Likelihood of success
  • Commitment to knowledge mobilization (translation and transfer)
How much can we apply for?
The amount of an award will depend on what the proposal can justify as necessary to fulfil its objectives. Applicants may apply for up to $250,000.
Who is funding this initiative?
These grants are funded by George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited as part of their philanthropic funding initiatives.
What is the timeframe for a project length?
18-24 months
What does Seeding Food Innovation fund?
The total budget that can be applied is up to $250,000.
Will Fund Not Eligible for Funding
  • Principal applicant’s salary at a Canadian based CRA-registered institution. Please note, all Canadian universities and colleges have CRA registration numbers.
  • Software (Costs for licenses) and databases (Costs of collecting and archiving data)
  • Materials and consumables
  • Research Assistance
  • Fieldwork and data collection as well as transportation that relates to this collection
  • Travel costs to allow grantees to attend a relevant conference to present funded research
  • Capital construction or refurbishment costs
  • Large equipment purchases, or indirect costs
  • Traveling costs to attend conferences/meetings
  • Computer systems & other electronics hardware
  • Facility rent and general office/lab or administrative costs
  • Academic Institutional overheads
  • Existing projects already funded by another grant, but requiring additional funding.
Who is eligible for funding?
Participating organisations must be located in Canada and the lead applicant should be a CRA qualified donees, but additional applicants may be employed in any sector. We welcome proposals from a broad range of disciplines and encourage applications that involve cross-sector collaborations. Project must be conducted in Canada and up to 35% of the funds can be used to bring unique international resources into Canadian-led work.

All applications will require clear arrangements for the leadership and management of the program.

Principal Applicants must have a full-time and long-term appointment at their institution in order to apply. If a would-be applicant does not have a full-time or long-term position, they must have an Administrative Supervisor listed on the application that has permanent post at a recognised Canadian post-secondary institution. For example, postdoctoral fellow wishing to apply must co-apply with a faculty member.

As of now, applicants can apply in as many capacities on as many grants as they wish, and can hold an unlimited number of grants from the Companies.
What should I consider when building the team to work on this project?
One of the goals of this funding opportunity is to encourage and foster interdisciplinary research partnerships. Examples of partnerships might include teams from the same academic institution but separate schools, different institutions, the private sector, or civil society organizations. We are looking for applications that bring different disciplines and sectors together.
Industry or non-profit team members are also expected to contribute to the project, with either cash or in-kind contributions of some sort.
What kinds of projects are eligible for funding?
We are looking to fund projects that have the potential to make a tangible difference in the overall quality and/or sustainability of food systems. So, while we do not have any list of preferred topics or areas, we are looking for proposals that have the potential to show impact in a real and meaningful way in some aspect of the food production, distribution or consumption.

With an unrivalled network of retail stores across Canada, a food-manufacturing business and a world-class supply chain, we can provide not only funding, but a deep understanding of consumer needs as well as an opportunity to help commercialize ideas in the marketplace.
What kinds of projects have you funded?
See our list of Funded Projects
Other criteria apply; please see Funding Guidelines for details.