Smart Ag Innovation Centre (SAIC)

The UFA Innovation Lab is an interactive creative workspace

The Smart Farm Data Centre is a homey, yet technologically advanced workspace

To properly analyze data, plan for future growing seasons, and collaborate with students, industry partners, and producers, the College required a dedicated space in which stakeholders can meet and data can be processed. This space was created within the former President’s House and has been named the Olds College Smart Ag Innovation Centre (SAIC). The new facility includes a number of elements that are designed to contribute to the academic excellence of students, bolster applied research, decrease the environmental footprint of the Smart Farm, and be an industry leader in Smart Agriculture.

"The centre is a nondescript farmhouse from the outside, but inside it is a technology centre, which is what so many farmhouses are going to look like in the future,” said Patrick Machacek, Vice President, Development and Strategy at Olds College. “The Innovation Centre is where we find, display, and implement the data that we collect,” continues Machacek. “It gives us the chance to collaborate with industry partners, but more importantly, it allows us to show our students the results of our data collection and teach them about how we use that data to solve real problems on the farm.”

The Innovation Centre consists of a number of elements, all developed to contribute to academic excellence and student success, bolster our applied research, decrease the environmental footprint of our farm, and be an industry leader in smart agriculture.

UFA Innovation Lab

Fitted with a 85” touch screen computer interface, a glass whiteboard with an e-beam interface that can capture your work into a document, whiteboard walls and table tops, and a 4K 55” touchscreen Google Jamboard, the UFA Ag Innovation Lab is an interactive creative workspace that allows for teams, including Olds College staff, students, and industry partners, to use powerful collaboration tools in meetings and breakout sessions.

Data Centre

The Data Centre is a homey, yet technologically advanced workspace available for students, instructors, and the Smart Farm Integration Team to meet, collaborate, and learn. The space features a waist height work station with table-top touch screen computer, a wall of five 50” computer display monitors, and a fireplace to help everyone feel more comfortable.

Ag Investment Lab

The Investment Lab is another project room for student groups, faculty, staff, and industry use. The Ag Investment Lab includes Google Meet hardware that can access apps that investors can use to connect with startups that are coming out of the Smart Farm Ecosystem. Through the Investment Lab, teams can meet remotely, hosting virtual meetings with potential investors or partners.

Lower Level

The lower level of the centre includes a number of offices for Smart Farm employees, as well as two touchdown spaces for industry partners and producers, along with the Smart Farm Integration Team.