The Government of Alberta announced $200,000 to support technology growth in the ag sector
Recently, Olds Colleges received an investment from the Government of Alberta of $200,000 to partner with THRIVE’s Canada accelerator and start-up program.
THRIVE by SVG Ventures is a leading global agri-food investment and innovation platform based in Silicon Valley.
“The partnership brings us together to support the Canadian ag tech ecosystem. (THRIVE) provides that connectivity, the networks and the investments and we can provide the educational curriculum pieces, as well as the access to an applied research environment to support the development of the opportunities that we're both involved in. It's a real synergistic relationship,” said Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College.
Prior to the government investment, Olds College and THRIVE had a memorandum of understanding to articulate their intention to work together to support ag innovation in Alberta, said Cullum.
The government funding allows Olds College to provide programing support for THIRVE’s Canada Challenge, which attracts and supports agriculture tech advancements in Alberta, said Cullum.
“We need more venture capital in Alberta. … This (funding) continues to support that. I think agriculture is our most important industry, arguably, along with oil and gas. So, these kinds of initiatives and this kind of investment are critically important,” he told Farms.com.
THRIVE and Olds College can provide investments and support to help technology companies grow and develop their ideas, said Cullum.
This partnership will “keep a lot of the technology companies in Alberta. It gives them access to investment, as well as access to facilities like the (college’s) smart farm to grow, develop, expand and scale right here in Alberta, which is really good for our economy. It'll bring jobs into our province and it'll allow the technology companies to connect very closely with the agricultural sector here,” he said.
Olds College representatives want to continue to work with Alberta’s ag community, especially when it comes to their smart farm, said Cullum.
“Our smart farm needs to connect with producers, farmers and with (other members of) the agricultural sector. … These kinds of investments … enhance that connectivity so that we can continue to grow our agricultural technology innovation ecosystem here in the province,” said Cullum.
This partnership also creates learning opportunities for students.
The funding and partnership “will continue to expand our smart farm, which is really about showing where agriculture is going and exposing our students to the next generation of agriculture. So, putting our students in an environment where this kind of activity is happening is like nothing else in North America,” said Cullum.
The project was funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
Photo credit: John Mancenido photo