On Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $860,000 in six businesses under the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program.

“These projects are supporting 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 pave the way for new ideas and methods to keep Canadian agriculture strong and well-positioned for the future,” said Bibeau.

A total of six small businesses are reach receiving up to $150,000 to advance automation and robotic technologies for solving challenges such as work productivity and labour shortages and operational efficiency in the agricultural sector. This announcement follows an earlier $1 million announcement to seven projects through ISC.

Projects receiving funding through the Canadian Meat Processing Technology Development Challenge will aim to make advances in automation through robotics, artificial intelligence and other forms of innovation to reduce reliance on manual labour in the Canadian meat processing sector.

Projects receiving funding through the Enhancing Automation in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Farming Challenge will work to develop automation and robotic technologies to reduce time spent on labour intensive tasks and reduce costs for CEA facilities.

Under the Canadian Meat Processing Technology Development Challenge, projects include:

- E.O.I Technologies Inc. will help meat processors proactively predict and prevent contamination, automate inspection, and optimize management of conveyors through a developed innovative technology for seamless and real-time monitoring of modular conveyors.

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

- Exonetik Inc. will develop a robotic system to enable a multitude of tasks that are notoriously difficult to automate, such as fruit and vegetable harvesting.

- GWS Vertical Farms Inc. will build and test a fully functioning vertical farm using aeroponics to grow leafy greens. This will reduce human errors, minimize the introduction of contamination, and reduce the consumption of resources.

- Sinopa Energy Inc. will enhance and provide cost effective and efficient harvesting of mushrooms in existing facilities through their Artiflex system.

- Stratuscent Inc. will tackle labour intensity through their digital nose technology that detects and interprets odours to monitor the crop ripening process and to detect early signs of spoilage.

- Truly Northern Inc. will use their GroStack Automation Project to finalize the vertical farming system design for commercial distribution and reduce identified labour costs by integrating cost-effective automation solutions and increasing production output by using Artificial Intelligence and remote monitoring to optimize growing conditions.