Canadian Agricultural Technology Research & Innovation Funder Shares Smart Farm Story

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 15th, 2023 – The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) today unveiled the final story of a nine-part series highlighting results of the AgTech projects it has funded during its first two-and-a-half years of formal operations.

CAAIN’s mandate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is to fund technological responses to the most significant opportunities and challenges facing the nation’s agri-food producers and processors. That means supporting promising efforts with the potential to provide economic or environmental value. The featured stories demonstrate that CAAIN is doing just that, as do the 129 collaborations the organization has nurtured and the $31M it is investing in 24 projects with a combined total value exceeding $100M.

“It’s fitting that we close our series with this story,” said Dr. Cornelia Kreplin, CAAIN’s Interim CEO. “That’s because this is the first project we funded, and it’s delivering exceptional results. Smart farms present a unique opportunity to validate and demonstrate emerging technology, showcase potential return on investment to farmers, addressing the issue of perceived risk and encouraging adoption of viable technology. As a bonus, smart farms also provide work-integrated learning opportunities for students. That said, they accomplish their objectives only if clearly defined parameters are established and maintained. When we talk about validation, the work we’re supporting involves a level of data analysis that commands a connection between highly trained researchers and data scientists, as well as extraordinary attention to detail and a commitment to scientific rigor.”

Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network Development is led by Olds College and overseen by Dr. Joy Agnew, the school’s Vice-President of Research. CAAIN is contributing $1,127,193 of the project’s $3,383,589 total value. It’s a substantial investment but the ROI to date has been impressive, and shows no signs of slowing down. Consider that the network has grown from two sites in Alberta and a third Saskatchewan, to seven partners operating on more than 10,000 acres across Canada’s three prairie provinces. The various teams have combined to complete more than two dozen initiatives on a wide range of topics, with another 60 or so in the hopper. In addition to the valuable research they are conducting, four of the partners are post secondary institutions, and they are using the land and equipment to provide hands-on AgTech training to students who will be Canada’s agricultural leaders of tomorrow.

For more information, read the story.



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 by performing three core functions. First, it supports the development of promising solutions to important challenges facing producers and primary food processors. Second, it is building an online, member-based network connecting Canada’s agricultural and technology stakeholders. Third, CAAIN is developing a digital platform to link nationwide, production-specific networks of smart farms, which will collaborate to validate and demonstrate emerging technology in diverse locations across the country.   Twitter   LinkedIn


Project Funding Inquiries
Dr. Cornelia Kreplin
Interim CEO
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 |