Government of Canada invests in innovation and technology to meet challenges in agriculture

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OTTAWA (ON), March 15, 2022 /CNW/ – Canada is a world leader in agricultural innovation and technology development. The government of Canada recognizes the importance of agricultural innovation as it helps support sustainability and keeps the sector competitive and well positioned for the future. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $860,000 in six companies under the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program.

A total of six small businesses receive up to $150,000 advancing automation and robotics technologies to address issues such as labor productivity and labor shortages and operational efficiency in the agricultural sector. This announcement follows a previous $1 million announcement to seven projects through ISC.

This program offers innovators with bold ideas the opportunity to develop their new solutions, products and technologies to meet the challenges of the agricultural sector, leading to a more prosperous and competitive sector.

Meat processing plants depend on manual labor and are difficult environments to manage efficiently. Other areas of meat processing can fall behind when attention is focused on one area. The government recognizes this dilemma. Projects funded through the Canadian Meat Processing Technology Development Challenge will aim to advance automation through robotics, artificial intelligence and other forms of innovation to reduce reliance on against manual labor in the Canadian meat processing sector.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is a production system based on indoor technology where crops are grown in a modified and highly conditioned environment. CEA production is labor intensive, including tasks such as planting, plant management, cleaning, harvesting, pest control, pruning, sorting, and packing. Projects funded through the Enhancing Automation in CEA Farming Challenge will work to develop automation and robotics technologies to reduce time spent on labor-intensive tasks and reduce costs for facilities. of the CEA.

The government of Canada is committed to supporting small business and entrepreneur innovations to help develop effective, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to ensure from Canada the agricultural sector remains competitive.

Quote

“These projects support Canadian agricultural technology companies as they develop innovative solutions to help farmers reduce waste, conserve resources and improve efficiency. By investing in innovation and technology, Canadian agriculture will continue to pioneer new ideas and methods to keep Canadian agriculture strong and well positioned for the future.”
– The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Technological innovation is absolutely necessary to meet the main challenges facing the Canadian agri-food sector. By supporting the projects announced today, our government is giving these companies the opportunity to grow and innovate while ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to the highest quality products. food and agricultural products. »
– The Honorable François-Philip ChampagneMinister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Fast facts

  • ISC, administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), is a $100 million program to help from Canada entrepreneurs and small businesses develop innovative and sustainable solutions to complex challenges. Under ISC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and other participating departments partner with ISED to develop challenges and assess applications received.
  • If successful at the proof of concept stage, projects are each eligible up to $1 million as part of phase 2 of the ISC challenge for the development of prototypes.

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Information document
Government announces funding through the Innovative Solutions Canada program

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) helps Canadian innovators who want to start, grow and get to market by funding research and development and testing prototypes under real-world conditions.

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $860,000 in six projects under the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program. The funds will be used to advance automation and robotics technologies to solve problems in these agricultural sectors.

Under the Canadian Meat Processing Technology Challenge, projects include:

  • EOI Technologies Inc. will help meat processors proactively predict and prevent contamination, automate inspection and optimize conveyor management with innovative technology developed for seamless, real-time monitoring of modular conveyors.

Under the Enhancing Automation in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) challenge, projects include:

  • Exonetik Inc. will develop a robotic system to enable a host of tasks that are notoriously difficult to automate, such as harvesting fruits and vegetables.
  • GWS Vertical Farms Inc. will build and test a fully functional vertical farm using aeroponics to grow leafy greens. This will reduce human error, minimize the introduction of contamination and reduce resource consumption.
  • Sinopa Energy Inc. will improve and provide cost effective and efficient mushroom harvesting in existing facilities with its Artiflex system.
  • Stratuscent Inc. will tackle labor intensity with its digital nose technology that detects and interprets odors to monitor the ripening process of crops and detect early signs of spoilage.
  • Truly Northern Inc. will use its GroStack automation project to finalize the vertical farming system design for commercial distribution and reduce identified labor costs by integrating cost-effective automation solutions and increasing production using the intelligence and remote monitoring to optimize growing conditions.

SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

For further information: Marianne Dandurand, Press Attaché, Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, [email protected], 343-541-9229; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 1-866-345-7972, [email protected]

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