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Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM)

The Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program provides funding assistance to agri-businesses for adoption of best practices, new state-of-the-art technologies and processes that stimulate significant improvements in productivity and efficiency.

Pre-approval is required for all projects. SLIM programming supports applicants through two steps: funding of an Efficiency Analysis and funding of Infrastructure Projects. All applicants must complete an Efficiency Analysis before applying for Infrastructure Projects.

Approval to proceed with an Infrastructure Project will be based on the strength of the application and the efficiencies gained by its completion.

Funding

  • Efficiency Analysis: 50 per cent of the eligible cost to a maximum program payment of $20,000.
  • Infrastructure Projects: 50 per cent of eligible expenditures to a maximum payment of $500,000 (including the amount provided for the Efficiency Analysis).
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1. Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be:

  • Agri-businesses involved in value-added processing of Saskatchewan agricultural products;
  • A commercial enterprise located in Saskatchewan;
  • Incorporated in Saskatchewan or federally and filing income tax in Saskatchewan; and
  • An existing facility that has been in operation for a minimum of two years.

The following facilities are not eligible for funding:

  • Facilities where the retail environment is larger than the processing area;
  • Publicly funded facilities; and
  • Processors of seafood or fish.

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2. Efficiency Analysis

An Efficiency Analysis is a review of the facility’s current production methods and identifies where efficiencies can be gained or new technologies adopted to increase productivity.

The Efficiency Analysis must be undertaken by an independent third party consultant that has experience and knowledge of efficient manufacturing principles, productivity and systems efficiency. The Ministry does not provide referrals or recommendations on consultants.

Expenditures for the Efficiency Analysis will be eligible for rebate even if the applicant does not proceed with an Infrastructure Project application or if the Infrastructure Project is not approved.

Receiving approval to undertake an Efficiency Analysis does not imply approval of the applicant’s Infrastructure Project.

Eligible expenditures include:

  • Consultant fees.
  • Expenses directly related to the cost of developing the assessment for options of:
    • implementing automation;
    • efficient manufacturing processes; or
    • technology, including design. 

A completed Efficiency Analysis must include a detailed description of the following:

  • Current production line;
  • A schematic of the current process flow diagram and of the existing building;
  • Current issues facing the facility and how the issues need to be addressed;
  • Proposed solution to the issues;
  • Any equipment replacements, equipment modification, and/or facility modifications that must be made or training required.  This should include a schematic or process flow diagram;
  • Description of the current levels of productivity and gains that will be achieved as a result of the proposed solution; and
  • A summary of the above items.
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3. Infrastructure Projects

Applicants who successfully complete an Efficiency Analysis can apply for Infrastructure Project funding to complete the recommendations in the Analysis.  Only the facility modifications and equipment, including associated installation and training, identified in the Efficiency Analysis will be eligible for reimbursement.

On a case by case basis the Ministry will consider the use of an existing  Efficiency Analysis, given that it was completed recently and no major changes to manufacturing or processing have occurred.

Infrastructure Project applications must include:

  • Copy of Efficiency Analysis;
  • All proposed equipment replacements, equipment modifications, facility modifications to be made, or training required;
  • Estimated costs and a projected timeline for each of the proposed items. Higher priority items should be considered first;
  • Pictures of the current equipment to be replaced or modified, or the area to be modified.
  • Documentation which shows the applicant’s ability to financially contribute the necessary funds to the project. This could be a letter of financial commitment from their financial institution or financial statements.

All applicants approved for Infrastructure Project funding will be required to sign a contract before the project commences.

Submitting Claims

Applicants must submit claims to the Ministry of Agriculture Programs Branch.

Total eligible Infrastructure Project expenditures must be a minimum of $200,000. Equipment and materials must be installed and fully paid for when claimed. SLIM program requirements must be met prior to payment of any claim.  

Applicants are responsible for obtaining and complying with any permits or approvals required and for incorporating any relevant mitigation measures for your project. 

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4. Ineligible Expenses

Ineligible expenses include:

  • Activities or investments that have received funding under the Saskatchewan Value-Added Initiative Funding Program.
  • Interim claims for Efficiency Analysis expenditures.
  • New buildings, additions or building modifications.
  • Labour, wages or travel costs of applicant or employees (non-third party transactions).
  • Use of own equipment.
  • Taxes, brokerage, legal or interest/financing costs.
  • Business or marketing plan development.
  • Office equipment.
  • Computers and related hardware and software.
  • Farm equipment, cars, trucks, tractors, trailers, forklifts or other mobile motorized equipment.
  • Purchase of capital items such as land or buildings.
  • Production disturbances.
  • Equipment and supplies requiring replacement on an ongoing basis.
  • Items considered being regular repair or maintenance.
  • Items related to the addition of processing lines and equipment for the sole purpose of producing new products.
  • Invoices with eligible items totaling less than $100.
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5. Deadlines

Efficiency Analysis:

Applicants will need to submit applications for pre-approval by January 31, 2022. The claim form will be provided once the application is approved.

Infrastructure Project:

Applicants will need to submit applications for pre-approval by May 15, 2022 and submit claims by the date specified in their contract.
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6. Apply

Note: it is recommended that this application form is saved to your computer before entering in your information.

Download application form

Completed application packages can be submitted by email or mail to:
agprograms@gov.sk.ca
or
Ministry of Agriculture, Programs Branch
329 – 3085 Albert Street Regina SK S4S 0B1

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