MDA has announced its partnership in a network team led by Alberta Innovates that was selected by the Government of Canada for a Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) investment. The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) will bring technology and agri-food companies together with academic partners to create new solutions that improve competitiveness and drive growth in both the agriculture and technology sectors.
The SIF investment, totalling CAD $49.5 million over five years, was announced on July 22 in Edmonton by Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains.
“MDA is excited for this opportunity to co-invest together with our partners and the Government of Canada to drive innovation in the agri-food sector, particularly in relation to artificial intelligence and emerging sensor technologies,” said Mike Greenley, group president of MDA. “We look forward to working collaboratively with a broad ecosystem of Canadian industry and academic partners to advance state-of-the-art technologies.”
Within the network, MDA will conduct a program of research and technology development to advance enabling Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies with applications in the agriculture sector. MDA will also advance core data collection and data management technologies that use multiple sensor types, including hyperspectral imaging. In cooperation with its network partners, MDA will field the core AI and data technologies in a series of information service demonstrations, including those targeted at applications related to precision farming and supply chain management.
The CAAIN network is committed to selecting projects through transparent competitive processes. Administration of projects and the CAAIN network will be provided by Alberta Innovates. Project-based matching industry funding will ensure that projects are directed at developing solutions for opportunities and challenges facing the agri-food sector in Canada.