The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) has received an investment of up to $49.5 million from the federal government. The $108.5 million project, aimed at developing exportable farming solutions, aims to help farmers gain access to new technologies and is led by Alberta Innovates and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, along with Alberta’s Olds College and Lakeland College. The project will specifically look at technologies using artificial intelligence, robotics, and precision agriculture, and is expected to begin with eight partners from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. The landing page for the winning bid by CAAIN on the government’s website says the goals of this project are: to establish an ecosystem for innovation; invest in innovation to boost competitiveness; and integrate data streams. Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, suggested Canada is punching above its weight when it comes to the farming market, and that the latest investment will help farmers get their hands on robotic harvesters and other innovations. Canadian farmers will have new technologies and systems—things like robotic harvesters and computer networks—that will help make their farms more efficient,” Sohi said about the investment in a press release. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said farmers need new access to new technologies to stay competitive. “The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network’s work to build on Canada’s strengths in artificial intelligence, robotics and precision agriculture to develop exportable farming solutions will be critical to ensuring this vital sector continues to grow for years to come,” said Bains.
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