The Canadian government launched a new innovation funding competition to help create jobs and spur the growth of local companies.
On behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, launched the new funding competition last week, through the Strategic Innovation Fund, for national scale initiatives in automation and digital technology applications in the agriculture and agri-food sector.
“Automation and digital technologies are changing the face of agriculture and agri-food value chains,” the government said. “To capitalize on these changes, the government is seeking applications for funding from networks and consortia of private sector companies, researchers and non-profit organizations that will work collaboratively to develop and deliver automation and digital technology applications for the agriculture and agri-food sector.”
The government is seeking proposals that solve problems through the use of data and technology in the agriculture and agri-food sector, such as automation and robotics, precision agriculture platforms, data and digital solutions, sensors, interconnected software and hardware, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technology. Funding of between $10 million and $50 million will be provided to a successful applicant in the competition.
“Proposals should generate strong economic and social benefits, such as private sector investments in R&D, the creation of new intellectual property and innovations, and the development and implementation of new products, processes and services; and bring about positive environmental impacts, such as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, water usage and energy consumption.”
Applicants will have until January 11, 2019, to submit a Declaration of Intent, and are required to submit a full application for funding by March 1, 2019.
“Digital innovation and technologies have the power to improve food safety, reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture and food production, and create good middle-class jobs,” said Bains. “Our government is taking action to ensure our agriculture and agri-food sectors continue to punch above their weight in a competitive global market while delivering good, healthy and sustainable food to Canadians and international markets at a fair price.”
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