Hyperspectral Imaging Initiative First Out of the Gate

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, May 27, 2021 – The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) has reached a major milestone, revealing its 2020 Closed Competition’s first funding recipient, Optimizing Hyper-Eye: An Integrated Solution for Assessment of Fertility and Gender of Pre-Incubated Eggs, a project led by MatrixSpec Solutions of Baie D’Urfe, Quebec.

“We are pleased to be able to start working directly with our partners on their approved projects, and the Hyper-Eye concept is one of several that hold great potential,” said CAAIN CEO, Kerry Wright. “Our success reflects the efforts of the entire CAAIN staff, as well as those of our Technology and Science Advisory Committee members, external reviewers, and of course the project teams.”

Optimizing Hyper-Eye is a $2.8M initiative that will receive roughly $1.3M in CAAIN funding over the next three years. The project, whose partnership includes the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and Egg Farmers of Ontario, will seek to perfect a high-tech, non-invasive approach to determining the gender and fertility of pre-incubated chicken eggs.

Our patented technology has proven to be more than 90% percent accurate at the bench level. CAAIN’s support will help us iron out a few issues and advance Hyper-Eye to the point where we can scale up to industrial application,” explained MatrixSpec Founder and CEO, Dr. Michael Ngadi. “Our innovation is world-leading and important for three principal reasons. First, hatcheries must devote significant resources to the gender identification of day-old hatchlings. Second, existing methods of pre-incubated egg gender identification are invasive. Ours is not, which offers significant advantages. Finally—and this is very exciting—using our hyperspectral imaging tool to identify in ovum gender and fertility is only the beginning. This technology may well provide solutions to other agri-food challenges.”

CAAIN expects to contribute a total of approximately $15M to the nine winners of its Closed Competition and will announce details of the other eight recipients over the coming weeks.


“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting large-scale innovative projects and CAAIN is doing exciting work to innovate, develop and accelerate new technologies. This first project, to identify the gender of pre-incubated eggs, holds great promise for markets around the world. The Government of Canada will continue to invest in innovative projects in the agri-food industry to strengthen Canadian leadership in this sector.”

Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

“Canada is at the forefront of innovation and science, and this project demonstrates our commitment to leading the world in agricultural advances. This project will provide the egg industry with cutting-edge, innovative solutions that will help keep the sector strong and growing, while providing opportunities throughout the entire value chain.”

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

“This first project marks a significant milestone for CAAIN and reaffirms support by the agricultural sector for innovation and research. I would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of our outgoing interim CEO, Dr. Cornelia Kreplin, who led the organisation’s creation and skillfully navigated our first year of accomplishments.”

Laura Kilcrease, Chair, CAAIN Board of Directors


The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network is a not-for-profit company launched in July 2019 with funding of $49.5-million from Innovation, Science and Economic Development 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

Media Inquiries (CAAIN)

Eric Morin, CMP
Manager, Communications and Marketing CAAIN

Media Inquiries (MatrixSpec)

Dr. Laura Liu
Chief Technology Officer
MatrixSpec Solutions