Terms and conditions

The Homegrown Innovation Challenge (the “Challenge”) is run by the Weston Family Foundation (the “Foundation”, “we”, “us”, “our”). Please read these terms and conditions carefully before submitting an application. By submitting an application, you indicate your acceptance of these terms and conditions and agree to comply with them.

1. Participating in the Challenge

1.1 The Foundation will only make grants to Qualified Donees, as this term is defined by the Canada Revenue Agency. Qualified Donees shall use funds granted by the Foundation in the furtherance of their eligible research and development project. Note that a maximum of 10% of granted funds may be earmarked for institutional overhead, inasmuch as such overhead is normally collected for grants of this nature.

1.2 Applications received by the relevant deadline will be assessed against the eligibility criteria set out on the Challenge website, including any age qualification. Applications which do not meet the eligibility criteria shall not be accepted. Late applications and applications submitted in languages other than English or French will not be accepted. We are not responsible for – and will disregard – applications which are lost, incomplete, damaged or late due to computer, network or telecommunications failure based on third-party telephone or data networks.

1.3 Employees of Nesta (see below) and the Foundation are not eligible to enter the Challenge.

1.4 You must bear all your costs of entering the Challenge, including travel costs. If your application is successful, some of these costs may be reimbursable from the grant you are provided.

1.5 The Foundation will use the contact details you provide to contact you about the Challenge. All communications between you and the Foundation in relation to the Challenge must be in English or French. If you do not respond within 14 days, or if you subsequently withdraw or are withdrawn from the Challenge for any reason, the Foundation may select another applicant in your place, but are not obliged to do so.

1.6 Decisions about eligibility, shortlisting and the award of funding, including the validity of any claims and data submitted, are final. Correspondence and negotiations will not be entered into. In the unlikely scenario that no application or solution meets the relevant criteria, the Foundation, in its sole discretion, may elect not to provide any grant funding or prizes.

1.7 Grant funding must only be used in ways that will advance technology solutions that support the reliable, sustainable, competitive and at-scale out-of-season production of berries in Canada, and otherwise in compliance with governmental and Foundation requirements. The Foundation reserves the right to impose additional conditions if appropriate in its reasonable opinion, including if the Challenge has not resulted in sufficient public benefit in line with its charitable objects, or to comply with other legal or funder requirements. The funding awarded will be paid in Canadian dollars and the recipient is responsible for payment of tax and other charges in relation to said funding.

1.8 The Foundation reserves the right at its sole discretion to refuse any application or to make no award of funding if none of the applications meet its required criteria and standards. The Foundation may vary the form or substance of the Challenge (including deadlines, event dates and the number of applications selected for each phase) as the Foundation deems appropriate in the circumstances to ensure the success of the Challenge. The Foundation may also suspend or withdraw the Challenge if funding is withdrawn or the Foundation judges that the Challenge will no longer achieve its aims. The Foundation reserves the right at its sole discretion to remove you from the Challenge if you do not comply with these terms and conditions, if you cheat or behave in a way which is disruptive, inappropriate or potentially dangerous, if you fail to participate fully or do anything to damage the reputation of the Foundation or our partners.

1.9 The Foundation reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. Amendments will take effect from the date they are posted on the Challenge website so please check regularly to ensure you are familiar with the latest version. The date on which these terms and conditions were last revised is identified on the first page of these terms and conditions.

2. Your promises to us

2.1 To participate in the Challenge, you must:

  • satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria and ensure that all information submitted by you and your team is true, accurate and complete. The Foundation reserves the right to request additional evidence of any claims made by you and may validate said claims by any means the Foundation sees fit and/or to reject said claims at its sole discretion;
  • submit a proposal which is your own original idea and not copied from anyone else;
  • have obtained all authorizations, consents and permissions necessary to submit your application, carry out the work described in your proposal and comply with these terms and conditions;
  • declare any real, perceived or potential conflicts of interest at the time of application submission, including any exclusivity arrangements or other arrangements that could limit the ability of Canadians to benefit from your innovations in an unfettered manner;
  • ensure that your application will not infringe any intellectual property or other third-party rights or breach any contractual obligation. The Foundation may withdraw your application if it receives notice that it infringes any third-party rights;
  • act lawfully, ethically and in good faith, and comply with the rules of the Challenge and any relevant laws, regulations, guidelines and codes of practice; and,
  • comply with our reasonable instructions while participating in the Challenge, including in relation to health and safety and security.

2.2 If you are entering as part of a group or team, the lead organization is responsible for making sure that other team members comply with these terms and conditions. There is the opportunity for teams to merge; in this case, one team will be required to withdraw from the competition in writing and return any funds received.

3. Information, Intellectual Property, and Publicity

3.1 You will retain all intellectual property rights conceived of or reduced to practice during the course of your participation in the Challenge (“Funded IP”) and independently of the Challenge (“Background IP”). That said, we reserve the right to impose certain conditions on Funded IP, if appropriate in our opinion, including to ensure sufficient Canadian public benefit in line with our charitable objects or to comply with legal requirements.

3.2 Specifically, if, in the opinion of the Foundation, you or your partner(s) do not take steps to promptly achieve practical application of the Funded IP for the Canadian market and for the benefit of Canadians, then the Foundation may require you to: (a) terminate, or convert any exclusive rights granted to a third party in connection with Funded IP, as well as Background IP necessary to enable the full commercialization of the Funded IP, to non-exclusive rights; and/or, (b) promptly locate, and grant to a new entity acceptable to us the rights to commercialize and otherwise apply the Funded IP, all improvements thereto made by you or your partner(s), as well as Background IP owned or licensed by you or your partner(s) necessary to enable full commercialization of Funded IP, within the Canadian market. In this scenario, you will not seek consideration for the granting of rights to Funded IP or Background IP to new partners that is commercially unreasonable.

3.3 Lead organizations must ensure that the terms that are required to give effect to the provisions under Section 3.2 are incorporated into any relevant agreements entered into with a partner or partner(s) who may wish to commercialize the Funded IP. We may request copies of agreements you may wish to enter – or have already entered into – such that we can ensure that they are in compliance with the requirements outlined above.  You agree to promptly provide such agreements in response to our request. Please see the Privacy Policy for information about how any personal information which you provide in your application may be used.

3.4 The Foundation may carry out publicity and promotion for the Challenge and publish our research and evaluation in relation to the Challenge. You agree and confirm that your team members agree to the use of your organization name and a summary of your proposal in promotion and publications in any media and online. Before any publication, we will take into account your concerns about confidentiality and intellectual property rights. The Foundation may require you and your team members to support and/or participate in promotional activities related to the Challenge on reasonable notice.

3.5 Any public statements made by an applicant, participant or winner in relation to the Challenge must acknowledge the support of the Foundation and must be approved by them in advance.

4. No Liability and Indemnity

4.1 To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Foundation excludes all liability for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, exemplary, or aggravated damages or losses, or any liability, costs, claims, taxes, charges or expenses, in the case of any of the foregoing arising from your participation in the Challenge or your reliance on statements made or advice given by us, our partners or contractors. If you submit any materials or items as part of your application to the Challenge, this is at your own risk. The Foundation provides no undertakings to keep safely, maintain or return any materials or items.

4.2 The applicant hereby releases and forever discharges the Foundation and its directors, employees, advisors, agents, representatives and affiliates (collectively, the “Foundation Indemnified Parties”) from any and all claims, actions, causes of action, proceedings, suits, complaints, liabilities, expenses, penalties, costs, damages or losses including reasonable legal fees (collectively, “Claims”) that arose in the time period prior to the date of their participation and/or application to the Challenge. The Foundation will not assume any liability associated with your participation in the Challenge and applicant hereby releases and forever discharges the Foundation from any and all liability with respect thereto.  The applicant shall indemnify, and hold harmless, the Foundation Indemnified Parties, from and against all Claims brought against any of the Foundation Indemnified Parties, or which they may suffer or incur, as a result of or in connection with your participation in the challenge.

4.3 Nesta, a third party service provider, co-designed the Challenge and the associated website with the Foundation. Following the launch of the Challenge in February 2022, the Foundation will take sole responsibility over the Challenge. As such, following the launch date, Nesta shall not be liable for any claims, losses, damages or expenses (whether in contract, negligence, tort, statutory duty or otherwise) arising out of or in connection with your participation in the Challenge.

5. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

These terms and conditions shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein, without regard to conflicts of law rules that would apply a different body of law.  The parties irrevocably consent and submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts located in the City of Toronto, Ontario in all disputes arising out of or relating to these terms and conditions and waive any jurisdictional or venue defenses otherwise available. However, nothing herein precludes either you or us from applying for injunctive remedies or other urgent legal relief in any jurisdiction.