b"Well, this is a unique model to Canada. I think its a test case because the government has taken a large amount of money and trusted a third-party producer led entity to administer it. Tom SteveASG: How do the partnerships work? What is thelot of the time were looking at projects that will take flow of communication like between RDAR and the10 years.schools? TS: Well, the notion of this being a 10-year, funding agreement TS: It's early days, but we have established an open dialoguewas really based on what you just saidwhich is that most with all of those educational institutions on the path forward. Asresearch projects have a minimum of three, more normally a a matter of fact, there's one other element of RDAR and that'sfive and sometimes a 10-year funding horizon. So, we wanted the advisory committee.that certainty in terms of the flow of funds from the government The advisory committee has 50 different representatives onof Alberta. Of course, anything can happen over time. But there it, including all the colleges and universities, and I actually chairwill be an annual allocation that will be provided to RDAR and the advisory committee. We're in constant contact with not onlythe agreement that is in place that provides for those amounts. the farm organizations, but the educational institutions. SomeWe wanted that certainty built into the agreement. of the finer details of how we measure the success of thoseThere is a five-year mandatory review. So, after five years, programs going forward that have been transferred, have notthe parties will look at how things are working. And I think been fully worked out. Some of them will be written into formalthat's reasonable because of the fact that governments change agreements.and government's priorities change. But unwinding a 10-year agreement would be a big undertaking.ASG: What stage is RDAR at right now?TS: They've staffed up with senior management and researchASG: How does RDAR compare to how ag research is program managers, administrative functions, communications.handled in other provinces?So those resources are in place, the search is underway for aTS: Well, this is a unique model to Canada. I think it's a test case, permanent chief executive officer. We have an interim CEO atbecause the government has taken a large amount of money the moment, but a search is underway for a permanent CEO andand trusted a third-party producer led entity to administer it. I we expect that that position would be filled by early in 2021. Butguess the difference is that in most other provinces, they have a essentially, they have the staff in place.base budget for their agriculture ministries, most of them don't In addition to that, the first research call was rolled out, $4have the same level of internal research capacity that Alberta million research call that we announced on October 22. Well beAgriculture had. I think maybe a difference is that in recent evaluating proposals from scientists and organizations to startweeks, Alberta Agriculture has experienced some downsizing, the funding flowing out to scientists as soon as possible. and much of that is research capacity that was internal. And a number of those scientists have transitioned over to the ASG: What kind of research projects is RDAR lookinguniversities and colleges, but certainly not all of them. to support? But I think the main difference between Alberta and other TS: The research call itself is targeted at four key areassoilprovinces is that it has traditionally done more internal research health and quality, water quality and efficiency, seed production,than any other province in Canada. And now, it's moving and plant and animal diseases and pests. Those might seem liketowards more of a model that is in line with other provinces, for rather broad areas, but there are specific projects within thosebetter or for worse.that I'm sure will come to the fore. There's also existing research calls in the marketplace whereASG: What are the future plans for RDAR over the next those research projects could be applied to this funding call.10 years? For example, we have something in Western Canada called theTS: Our business plan has just been developed and really covers Agriculture Funding Consortium, and the majority of the cropthe initial years of operation. So, to say that we have a 10-year groups in Western Canada are members of the Ag Fundingplan would not be accurate at this stage. We're trying to cover Consortium. There may be projects that have been underthe start-up phase and really the first few years of operation. consideration through that research call that would apply toIt will be up to the permanent Board of Directors, and the this one. permanent management team, including the permanent CEO, to develop a longer-term strategy for the organization. ASG: How does the long-term funding of RDAR work? Ashley RobinsonBecause when we're talking about research work, a 22seed.ab.ca"