Bolstering innovation in Western Canada’s agriculture sector promotes enhanced production and global competitiveness.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced over $1.9 million in Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) funding towards Olds College to bolster Alberta’s agriculture industry.
An investment of $1,931,843 will support Phase Two of the Olds College Smart Farm (OCSF), a living lab for the development, testing, validation, and scale-up of agricultural technologies. Federal funding will help OCSF buy and install agricultural equipment and advanced sensor technologies, as well as recruit agricultural and technical specialists to direct Smart Farm activities and use of data. The equipment and technologies will generate information and data to benefit farm operations, support research, and provide high tech, hands-on learning for faculty and students. The investment in the Olds College Smart Farm is anticipated to create 20 jobs, generate $2.5 million in business research and development (BERD), and assist agriculture companies to achieve $90 million in revenue growth and $27 million in export sales growth.
Olds College is also receiving $10,000 to host the 2019 AgSmartevent, which brings together technology providers with farmers, students, and academics to learn more about how technology and data applications increase productivity and profits, while reducing environmental impact. AgSmart takes place from August 13-14.
The RIE program stream builds on the Innovation and Skills Plan, our path forward to help make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation that creates well-paying jobs and grows the middle class.
- Phase One of the Olds College Smart Farm launched in 2018, which created 110 acres of farm land to be used by industry, students, and researchers to develop new ”smart connected” technologies for crop farming. The first phase of the OCSF attracted over $1 million in cash contributions from 14 industry partners with multiple projects being developed in its first four months.
- AgSmart, which is hosted at Olds College, will feature education workshops, hands on equipment displays, in-field demonstrations, and a trade show profiling cutting-edge commercialized products that are transforming the agriculture industry in Alberta and world-wide.