Weston Seeding Stronger Communities

Seeding Food Innovation: Frequently Asked Questions

Q:
How are grants given?
A:
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. All funding goes to seed grants, for rigorously scientific, trans-disciplinary research proposals that investigate food and health challenges. We are looking for proposals that impact primarily Canadians, but address issues of global concern.
Q:
What are the stages of an application?
A:
We have a two-stage application process:
  1. Letter of Intent (LOI) - Deadline Monday, April 17, 2017 2:00pm EST
  2. Proposal (if invited) - Deadline Friday, September 15, 2017 2:00pm 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.
Q:
What are the key factors used to assess an application?
A:
At all stages of the application process, we will typically assess:
  • Scientific rigor and innovation-ability to realize the vision
  • Vision and scope of the proposal
  • Likelihood of success-the track record of the applicants involved
  • Commitment to real social impact in Canada as well as globally
Q:
How much can we apply for?
A:
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 $150,000.
Q:
Who is funding this initiative?
A:
These grants are funded by George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited as part of their philanthropic funding initiatives.
Q:
What is the timeframe for a project length?
A:
18-24 months
Q:
What does Seeding Food Innovation fund?
A:
The total budget that can be applied for is $150,000.
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
  • Equipment purchases, computer purchases, or travel expenses to conferences/meetings, administrative or indirect costs, except with prior written approval
  • Traveling costs
  • 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.
Q:
Who is eligible for funding?
A:
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.
Q:
What kinds of projects are eligible for funding?
A:
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.

New in 2017: While every proposal should be innovative, based on rigorous scientific evidence and have a real social impact, some initiatives will be more long-term in nature. These will require philanthropic funding to prove the research is valid. Other proposals will have a direct for-profit business potential and might benefit from debt/equity investment from the Companies instead.

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.
Q:
How do I know what type of funding I am eligible for?
A:
If you think you might like to turn your concept into a business, please indicate this on the LOI application where we ask if you would be interested in early-stage investment funding. If you are not sure, please contact us at food.innovation@weston.ca and we will try to help.
Q:
What kinds of projects have you funded?
A:
See our list of Funded Projects
Other criteria apply; please see Funding Guidelines for details.