The Next Step in the Creation of a Nationwide Ecosystem that Will Validate and Demonstrate the Latest Agtech

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, December 8, 2023 – The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) today launched a smart farm network competition designed to encourage the adoption by farmers of emergent agricultural technology.

“This competitive process will help our team identify and support organisations committed to evaluating technologies and research that will boost the productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability of our nation’s agricultural operations,” said CAAIN CEO, Darrell Petras. “We’ve been funding extraordinary innovation for three years. Now we’re building the infrastructure that will allow producers to judge for themselves if agtech of interest can deliver sufficient ROI to make their adoption economically feasible.”

CAAIN’s mandate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is to fund technological responses to important challenges facing the nation’s agri-food producers and primary processors. That means supporting promising efforts with the potential to provide socio-economic and/or environmental value. The competition announced today builds on the $30M CAAIN has committed to 30 projects whose total value exceeds $100M. It is an extraordinary track record of success that will generate a significant return on investment for Canadian taxpayers.

“Our first funded project was a network of smart farms that has grown from three sites in two provinces to eight locations distributed across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario,” explained Mr. Petras. “We intend both to add to that group and create additional networks spread out across the nation and specialising in a range of produce. Canada’s agroclimatic diversity is both blessing and curse. Mostly, it contributes to our greatness. But there is a downside. Technology of value to a hog operation in Quebec may not be so useful to a similar outfit in Manitoba. There are variations in factors such as temperature, precipitation, and soil composition. We will support different types of networks, and will link them by means of an integrated online platform that will allow participants to share data, best practices, and lessons learned.”

Details of this program are available at



The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) is a not-for-profit company launched in July 2019 with funding of $49.5‑million from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, and assistance from Alberta Innovates in the form of significant in-kind contributions. CAAIN drives collaborative agri-food technology research and innovation from coast to coast.   Twitter   LinkedIn


Project Funding Inquiries
Darrell Petras, P.Ag.
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network
Media Inquiries
Eric Morin, CMP
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network
780.405.3742 |