THE NOVA SCOTIA WILD BLUEBERRY INNOVATION CHALLENGE
The Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Innovation Challenge
The Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Innovation Challenge offers an opportunity to collaborate and co-invest with the Wild Blueberry Producer’s Association of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture to develop a world-class wild blueberry consumer product that appeals to markets all over the world.
The Challenge – Focusing on Wild Blueberries
The wild blueberry industry is heavily focused on the international food ingredient trade, with very few value-added consumer food products produced in this region. The combined effects of new, science-based management methods resulting in increased yields and the development of new wild blueberry land in the region leave the door open for new product and market development opportunities that focus on both export and domestic markets.
The Wild Blueberry Producer’s Association of Nova Scotia (WBPANS) and the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture (NSDA) are partnering together to provide secure business investment for the development of one new, value-added consumer food product(s) using Nova Scotia wild blueberries in 2021-2022.
There is a growing need to develop new value-added, consumer food products that keeps more of the value in Nova Scotia. WBPANS is offering Nova Scotia companies funding to take their ideas from a well develop concept through to the commercialization stage by providing funding that helps facilitate technical assistance required to take new product to the market.
Funding and Scope
- The winning company could receive up to $126,000 in funding.
- These funds will cover allowable external expenses to answer specific questions that will help get your product to market.
- Examples – regulatory compliance consultations, packaging modification, shelf life stability, etc.
- These funds will not cover company salaries or general operational costs.
- These funds need to be part of a larger business plan that will bring your product to market.
- Funds for this project need to be spent between April 2021 and March 2022.
Proposal Submission and Important Selection Criteria
Nova Scotia companies are asked to submit a proposal, that describes the product idea and how these funds will help answer specific technical questions that will help get your product to market.
- Initial online proposals will be reviewed
- The committee may ask for clarification, provide feedback on various parts of the proposal
- Upon receipt of any additional information the proposal will be scored
- Up to three proposals may be asked to submit a more detailed proposal
- The winning proposal will be awarded by March 20th.
Proposal Structure – Required sections
- Applicant data: firm contact info, key personnel
- Project title and description of the proposed new product
- Market opportunity of the new product
- Capability of the firm to successfully carry out the project: ie. resources, expertise, financial support etc.
- The technical needs and challenges
- Project objectives and summary of the workplan
- Preliminary summary of the business or financial plan for the project
- Firm’s technical and financial capability to successfully complete the project
- Scientists, partners or subcontractor to be retained, their roles
- Projected impact on blueberry volumes marketed in years 1, 2 and 3.
Key Criteria for this project:
- Is the product idea fully developed and costed?
- Are there clear markets identified?
- Is it a unique product or competing against established businesses?
- What are your sales targets?
- What is the projected time frame to commercialization?
- What are there clear challenges that need to be addressed with this funding?
- How much wild blueberry volume does this translate to?
To be eligible, participants must meet the following criteria to apply:
- Company must be headquartered in Nova Scotia.
- Applicant must be a Nova Scotia Resident and Canadian citizen.
- Applicant must be a small or medium sized, for profit business or organization and in good standing with the provincial Registry of Joint Stock Companies and have no outstanding obligations or legal concerns
- Research, development, and manufacturing activities must take place in Nova Scotia.
- Applicant must be an established operator for at least one year.
- Applicant must have the business knowledge and experience to develop, introduce, and deliver a new product into the general market (includes: initial introduction of the product through its mass production and adoption; taking into account the production, distribution, marketing, sales and customer support required to achieve success).
- Applicant must have the ability to finance the commercialization phase of the project.
Proposal Submission and Approval Timeline
Interested companies must fill out the on-line form by December 31, 2020 (deadline extended). Click here to apply
Feedback or questions will be returned to applicants by January 11th.
Proposals that meet all mandatory evaluation requirements will be evaluated and scored in accordance with point-rated evaluation criteria by January 25th
Proposals selected to proceed to the next stage will be notified by January 29th.
If a detailed proposal is required, it will need to be submitted by February 20th.
If an appropriate project is found, a winning proposal will be awarded by March 20th.