Transforming farming through innovationby Dwayne Brunner | Jul 19, 2019 | New Press– Alberta Innovates, along with its partners, are announcing their successful application for the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN). This Strategic Innovation Fund Stream 4 award is provided by the federal ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.CAAIN brings together over 61 technology and agri-food companies to create new solutions that improve competitiveness, drive growth in both sectors and create jobs. It is a platform to pursue precision, productivity and premiums.Projects within CAAIN will use a variety of technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced sensors, hyperspectral imaging, and blockchain. Application of these transformational technologies by agricultural operations and food manufacturers is focused in three areas.
- The network will bring together an ecosystem of autonomous processes, modules and machines to advance the use and value of automation and robotics in agriculture and food.
- CAAIN will help build machine learning and artificial intelligence-enabled decision models that optimize production, reduce risk and target specific values demanded in the market and blockchain infrastructure that verifies that value for consumers.
- The network will create and implement a smart farm platform that integrates partners and creates the context for testing, demonstrating, and scaling technologies.
“Demand is growing for Canada to help feed a hungry planet, and our new technologies, approaches and processes, in conjunction with meaningful partnerships, will strengthen our agricultural sector and help meet that demand. The CAAIN network will build on innovation within the agricultural sector by bringing technology to market, applying data and new problem-solving technologies like artificial intelligence, and identifying opportunities for collaboration across the value chain between sectors,” Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, says. Alberta Innovates will be partnering with organizations including the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Olds College, MDA Systems Ltd., Linamar Corp., Lakeland College, DOT Technology Corporation, and TrustBIX. They will share $49.5 million in funding to bring together the private sector, academia and research institutions to drive automation and digitization of Canada’s agricultural sector. CAAIN is expected to begin with eight partners from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec; Linamar being one of those organizations.