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Conference Reports

AIC Conference Reports

2020 Conference Report

Research and innovation in agri-food are key enablers of economic growth. They also create opportunities to fight against climate change, improve nutritional security, and enhance sustainability.

To succeed, research and innovation require investments and support from governments, non-profit organizations and private actors. Federal and provincial governments can encourage the success of research and innovation by creating an attractive climate for investment.

During four virtual sessions held in November and December 2020, representatives from across the agri-food system to examine the investment environment for agri-food research and innovation.

The 2020 Conference Report focuses on four key themes:

  1. What is the importance of investment in agri-food research and innovation and its return on investment?
  2. Is there an investment gap for agri-food research and innovation?
  3. How does venture capital and banking work and what do they look for?
  4. How can government investment and taxation create a better investment climate?

The Report includes a summary of key discussion points raised by the speakers, as well as recommendations made by AIC that were informed by the conference’s proceedings.


Conference Report – English

2017 Conference Report

Agriculture and the environment are intricately linked within a complex ecosystem; with agriculture both depending on and impacting critical natural resources.

The Canadian agricultural sector is an important steward of the environment and has a major role to play in meeting today’s global sustainability goals that call for an even more efficient and climate-smart agriculture. This approach demands continuous research and development that must be strongly supported by strategic agricultural R&D and investment policies coupled with effective coordination of research efforts.

Researchers, government officials, industry representatives, agri-entrepreneurs and other agricultural research stakeholders came together on April 24-26 in Winnipeg at AIC 2017 Agricultural Innovation in a Changing Environment.  The conference fostered important discussions about agriculture’s impact on the environment in a changing climate.

The 2017 Conference Report focuses on three key themes:

  1. Transforming Challenges into Opportunities: How can innovation minimize agriculture’s contribution to climate change?
  2. Building the Future on our Strengths: What support is available to advance Canada’s agricultural clean technologies?
  3. Shaping a Path Forward: How can we ensure the adoption of environmentally sustainable innovations?

The Report summarizes the conference panel presentations that explored how green growth in the sector can build on a strong scientific, evidence-based foundation and showcased world-class innovative research taking place across Canada. It also summarizes the feedback provided by Conference delegates in discussion sessions that took place at AIC 2017.


Conference Report – English

2016 Conference Report

In April 2016, The Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC) hosted a conference that brought agricultural research stakeholders together to discuss the need for the agricultural sector to better disseminate research results to producers, farmers, industry, academia, consumers and among the research community.  A number of findings and recommendations are included in the 2016 Conference Report.

One key finding is that research dissemination has often been neglected in past policy development or is left until the end of the project cycle, which needs to change in order to increase stakeholder engagement and allow for greater impact of results.  Another is that the sector needs to find new ways to incent and support knowledge transfer activities.

The Report also discusses the role that Intellectual Property (IP) has to play in the dissemination of research outcomes.  Although the commercialization of research results can certainly lead to a positive rate of return on investment, IP management is often debated or misunderstood and not recognized as a potential dissemination route for Canadian innovations.

The Report focuses on three key themes:

  • Dissemination Strategies and Participation Channels for Agricultural Research
  • Knowledge Transfer (KT) and Extension
  • IP Protection, Cooperation and Collaboration

The Report is a summary of the input gathered in policy discussions with researchers, government officials and other industry stakeholders at the annual AIC Conference that took place in April 2016.

A subsequent, in-depth Best Practices Report for Research Dissemination that highlights a number of best practices from across the sector will be released by AIC in late Summer 2016.


Conference Report – English

Rapport sur la Conférence – Français

2015 Conference Report

In 2015 AIC brought agricultural stakeholders together for our first national policy forum for agricultural research.  The conference was a culmination of a two-year process of outreach by the AIC to develop a Canadian agricultural research policy for the 21st century.

Over two days, researchers, academics, producers, government representatives, and agricultural advocacy organizations heard from expert panels and attended workshops where they provided advice based on their expertise in key elements of modern agricultural research policy:

  1. Balancing Pure and Applied Research
  2. Interdisciplinary Partnerships, Collaboration and Cooperation
  3. Issues in Public-Private Partnerships

Prior to the conference, AIC reached out to over 1,000 agricultural stakeholders, inviting them to participate in a consultation survey.  Their input set the framework for the conference discussion and drove the key questions discussed in these three individual, yet overlapping thematic areas.

Several overarching themes and important points of consensus emerged during discussion, with Canada’a top agricultural researchers and experts from across the sector identifying clear directions for the future of agricultural research in Canada.

Using this feedback AIC developed our national policy for agricultural research, innovation and development, released September 2015.

The ideas and insights shared by participants at the conference were summarized in the conference report found below.


Conference Report – English