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CAAIN Announces More Funded Projects

November 30, 2021

Five Prairie-Based Initiatives that Will Benefit Canada’s Entire Agri-Food Sector

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, November 30, 2021 – The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) has unveiled the remaining five projects to be funded through its inaugural Closed Competition.

“CAAIN supports the development of diverse technologies. To date, we have announced funding for four very different projects whose teams are spread out across the country,” said CAAIN CEO, Kerry Wright. “Today we are pleased to unveil five additional initiatives to which we will contribute more than $11M over the next three or four years. Individually, each group’s work will provide obvious value, which is why we are supporting them. Collectively they promise to contribute to increased productivity and improved efficiency by using technology that is both novel and uniquely capable of benefiting our nation’s agri-food industries.”

CAAIN funding will advance the agriculture and food sector by supporting projects that apply technological solutions to address identified needs, with particular focus on automation, artificial intelligence, and data collection and validation. These advances prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that innovation is alive and well in Canada’s rapidly expanding agtech sector.

“Our funding model is predicated on a hand-up approach,” said Ms. Wright. “We provide ongoing support and reimburse recipients along the way for a percentage of their eligible expenses. Our model is also different in its emphasis on robust collaboration and business development achieved through the active involvement of industry. Specifically, we require project teams to demonstrate the financial commitment and active participation of at least two small or medium enterprises, which can include farm operations.”

CAAIN serves as a point of convergence, or hub. Participants are encouraged to form alliances with research and academic institutions and other stakeholders, as necessary, to ensure success, pave the way to positive outcomes, and open the door to future partnerships.

Today’s announcement, which includes two connected projects, illustrates the value of this philosophy. CAAIN funds the Olds College broad-acre crop initiative, which in turn employs the Raven Industries autonomous vehicle technology whose development CAAIN also supports. This alignment happened organically and is the kind of interconnection that will be sought out and encouraged. Success breeds success. Cooperation will remain essential to the continued growth of the Canadian agri-food sector.

CAAIN expects to provide a total of approximately $14M to the nine winners of its 2020 Closed Competition, involving more than 20 collaborative project partners. In early 2022, when funding agreements are in place, CAAIN will announce the exciting slate of teams and projects to be funded through its recently completed 2020-2021 pan-Canadian Open Competition.

Details regarding today’s five announced projects are provided in the attached fact sheet and are available online at caain.ca.

Fact Sheet

Download the fact sheet

Quotes

“With today’s announcement, CAAIN has demonstrated that Canada’s agricultural sector is well grounded in the 21st century and will continue to look ahead. The innovations that are developed and implemented as part of these projects will foster the sector’s global growth and competitiveness and support its workers across the country for generations to come.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canadian farmers face many challenges today that directly impact the sustainability of our food system. Collaborative innovation networks such as CAAIN are responding to these challenges with made-in-Canada solutions such as artificial intelligence, precision agricultural equipment, and versatile autonomous machines. Canadian farm families can be assured that we are investing in the latest technologies that will support their growth, resilience, and sustainability.”

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“As the global population continues to grow, there’s a real urgency to develop the technologies that Canadian farmers can use to produce more food more efficiently, and get it to the people who need it. The projects from this first competition are just a sample of the solutions CAAIN and its partners are developing through this unique Canada-wide network.”

Laura Kilcrease, Chair, CAAIN Board of Directors

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About CAAIN

The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network is a not-for-profit company launched in July 2019 with funding of $49.5million from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund and assistance from Alberta Innovates in the form of significant in-kind contributions. CAAIN connects and invests in Canada’s agri-food and technology sectors to drive innovation and productivity.

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Project Funding Inquiries

Kerry Wright
CEO
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network
kerry.wright@caain.ca

Media Inquiries

Eric Morin, CMP
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network
780.405.3742
eric.morin@caain.ca