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Feds looking for ag innovations

Feds looking for ag innovations

The winner of a funding competition could receive between $10 and $50 million

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new federal competition will support a project designed to help the national ag sector.

The federal government is accepting applications through the Strategic Innovation Fund that will “develop and deliver large scale, disruptive approaches to automation and digital technologies with applications within the agriculture and agri-food sector value chain.”

The projects should also be able to solve problems using data, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate economic and social benefits.

The winning entry will receive between $10 and $50 million to help the applicants develop their vision.

Investing in ag projects will help the industry meet new challenges.

"Canada's agriculture and food processing sectors have always been fertile ground for innovation,” Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s federal ag minister, said in a statement Friday. “By bringing together private sector companies, post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations, our government is ensuring Canadian farmers and producers have the latest tools and technologies to take full advantage of the digital age."

Applicants have until Jan. 11 to submit a declaration of intent. The government will post these declarations online. The deadline for a full application is March 1.

In addition to this automation initiative, the government also recently awarded Strategic Innovation Fund money to an Ontario poultry project.

On Nov. 26, Ottawa provided Maple Leaf Foods with $20 million to support the company’s $660-million investment in a new facility in London, Ont. has reached out to the Agricultural Institute of Canada for comment on the funding competition and the importance of staying on the cutting edge of ag technology.

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