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CAAIN Announces Fourth Funded Project

August 03, 2021

CAAIN Announces Fourth Funded Project

The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) has unveiled the fourth project to be funded through its 2020 Closed Competition. Evaluation and Improvement of Economic, Environmental and Logistical Benefits of Autonomous Agricultural Equipment Operation for Broad Acre Crop Production is the second Olds College submission to be approved. It will employ, and assess the real-world efficacy and value of, the OMNiPOWER™ platform, robotic farm technology developed in Saskatchewan.


“One of CAAIN’s defining characteristics is the diversity of the projects to which we contribute. To date, we have announced funding for a pan-Canadian network of smart farms, a breakthrough in the non-invasive gender detection of in ovum chicks, and new technology to significantly improve live-haul transportation,” said CAAIN CEO, Kerry Wright. “To those we now add an Olds College initiative geared to determining the potential ROI of introducing home-grown automation to increase the productivity of broad-acre farms, a pillar of Canada’s agri-food sector.”

Evaluation and Improvement of […] Autonomous Agricultural Equipment Operation for Broad Acre Crop Production carries a total estimated price tag of just over $3.8M, roughly $1.5M of which will be reimbursed through CAAIN funding over the next three years.

“Agriculture is evolving rapidly. A range of digital and autonomous technologies is being introduced to crop and livestock production to increase efficiencies, optimise resource consumption, and enhance agricultural sustainability for the foreseeable future,” explained project lead and Olds College Associate Vice-President of Applied Research, Joy Agnew. “Automating broad-acre crop production practices such as seeding, spraying, and harvesting, offers a unique opportunity to improve both productivity and sustainability. That said, automation also presents technical challenges we must overcome before widespread adoptioncan begin. We are pleased CAAIN recognises the importance of identifying and resolving these issues, and we thank them for their continued support of Olds College’s efforts.”

CAAIN expects to contribute a total of approximately $15M to the nine winners of its Closed Competition, which involve 24 project partners including small and medium-sized enterprises, large firms and academic collaborators, and will announce details of the other five recipients over the coming weeks.


“We are pleased to support the development of the agri-tech sector with innovative technologies coming from home. With our support, CAAIN will provide Olds College with the opportunity to help broad-acre farms produce more local staples in a more sustainable way. This will allow Canada to remain competitive as this sector continues to evolve.”

Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry


“Increasing on-farm automation in large-scale crop production will be a huge help to the efficiency of our farmers and our entire food system. Today’s announcement demonstrates our Government’s commitment to investing in innovation to support the competitiveness of Canadian farm families and the long-term environmental sustainability of the agriculture sector.”

Hon Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food


“Increased automation and adoption of smart technologies will help farmers to address labour shortages in the agriculture sector, and greater precision will improve crop production yields. This will help to make our agri-food supply system ready for future growth and demand.”

Laura Kilcrease, Chair, CAAIN Board of Directors




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