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Ottawa invests in the future of ag

Ottawa invests in the future of ag

Dot Technology Corp. received a $5 million loan from Western Economic Diversification Canada

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The feds recently announced support for a Canadian autonomous ag equipment manufacturer.

Dot Technology Corp. (Dot), makers of the Dot power platform, received a $5 million loan from Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WEDC) Business Scale-up and Productivity program on Aug. 26.

“Saskatchewan is becoming an important centre for innovation, both in its traditional sectors like agriculture, and in new fields like autonomous vehicles,” Ralph Goodale, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said during the announcement.

Goodale presented the funding on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development.

The loan, which the organization must pay back in nine years, will help Dot hire the right personnel, said Jeff Bourassa, CFO of Dot.

“This loan gives us a little bit of ammunition to up our game and bring in the right people,” he told Farms.com. “Almost all of the money is dedicated to hiring people. We have over 50 hired projected over three years.

“We have machines working out there but now we need the ecosystem around them to service them, troubleshoot for farmers and perform software updates.”

The federal funding will also assist the company in working with established equipment manufacturers.

Those equipment makers only need to focus on what they’re good at and Dot can help them adapt it for the autonomous market.

“We are thinking about the future and we think autonomy is the future of farming,” Bourassa said. “We empower short line manufacturers to be able to offer an autonomous solution and make it fit in the envelope of our power platform. Then we work together to make sure the controls and components work.”

In total, WEDC awarded 22 Saskatchewan companies with more than $28 million in funding.

Other ag investments include:

  • $486,400 for Intelliconn Communication Solutions Inc. to launch sales and promote a new farm commodity sampling system
  • $1.8 million for Three Farmers Food Inc. to scale-up production and expand its markets for pulse snacks
  • $1.8 million for Avena Foods Ltd. to establish a gluten-free oat processing facility and expand markets
  • $7,500 to the Agri-Food Innovation Council to support the AI and Robotics in Agri-Food Conference

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