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Technology, innovation to strengthen B.C.’s food security

Technology, innovation to strengthen B.C.’s food security

March 26, 2021 at 10:11 am  BC, News, Politics

The B.C. Agritech Grant program has awarded a combined total of $7.5 million to 21 B.C.-based companies to help them anchor, scale up and develop technologies to improve food security in British Columbia.

Recipients and grant award amounts are:

Advanced Intelligent Systems is a leading Canadian autonomous robotics company, located in Burnaby. It uses a proprietary library of hardware and software modules to significantly reduce the development time and cost of new robotic solutions. It plans to create an indoor, driverless, autonomous electric vehicle to transport produce within greenhouses for processing, packing and shipping.
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on Advanced Intelligent Systems, visit: https://www.ai-systems.ca/

AgriForest Bio-Technologies is a Kelowna-based plant biotechnology company with 14 employees. It will use the grant to focus on improving the methods and decreasing the costs of propagating disease-free berry varieties to meet a growing demand for superior planting materials by the growers of B.C. and Canada.
Grant award: $150,000
For more information on Agri-Forest Bio-Technologies, visit: https://www.agriforestbiotech.com/

Bakerview EcoDairy is a 42.5-hectacre farm in Abbotsford that is home to dairy, beef cattle and layer hens. Bakerview EcoDairy will work to pilot a blockchain encrypted information management system to follow beef products from farm to consumer. Bakerview Eco Dairy will partner with KPMG to use existing software in a new way.
Grant award: over $230,000
For more information on Bakerview EcoDairy, visit: http://ecodairy.ca/

BarrelWise is a Vancouver-based agritech company with nine employees that develops smart technology to enhance wine analysis and production. BarrelWise has developed a proprietary wine barrel management system that increases operational efficiency, decreases process errors and allows for precision barrel-by-barrel management of wine quality through the collection and analysis of critical data.
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on BarrelWise, visit: https://www.barrelwise.ca/

BW GLOBAL of Abbotsford is Western Canada’s largest food systems/greenhouse design and manufacturing company. It is building the Better World Innovation Centre, an international collaboration on a 18.2-hectacre regenerative organic farm in Abbotsford to demonstrate new agriculture and clean technology, along with new business models that will decarbonize food production and distribution and improve food supply, security and sovereignty in B.C. and around the world.
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on BW Global, visit: http://bw-global.com/

BC Cattlemen’s Association, based in Kamloops, has a membership of 1,200 ranchers and represents the interests of cattle producers throughout B.C. The association is developing wearable cattle technology that will allow producers to manage and track cattle movement within and outside of cellular service, taking advantage of existing cellular and satellite technology and infrastructure.
Grant award: $350,000
For more information on the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, visit: https://www.cattlemen.bc.ca/

Cascadia Seaweed of Sidney has 20 team members, a combination of partners, employees and contractors, and is aiming to become North America’s largest ocean cultivator of premium seaweed. Cascadia Seaweed’s project involves improvements to farm operations using technology, increasing seaweed cultivation productivity and enhancing Indigenous relationships.
Grant award over: $255,000
For more information on Cascadia Seaweed, visit: https://www.cascadiaseaweed.com/

Flex Alert Company Ltd. of Vancouver has 11 staff and develops low-cost wireless biosensors to monitor pathogens common in agriculture, such as powdery mildew, brown rot and botrytis. Flex Alert plans to use ozone nanobubble technology in irrigation for pathogen remediation in grape fields with Summerland Estate Vineyard as project partner.
Grant award: $240,000
For more information on Flex Alert Company Ltd., visit: https://flex-alert.com/

Industrial Plankton is a 14-person Victoria-based company specializing in developing and manufacturing cutting-edge algae bioreactors for aquaculture hatcheries and biotech. Industrial Plankton is developing a turnkey seaweed hatchery/nursery, built in shipping containers for easy delivery, installation and adoption by industry. This technology will facilitate selective breeding and provide a reliable source of high-quality seaweed seedlings for commercial farms.
Grant award: $200,000
For more information on Industrial Plankton, visit: https://industrialplankton.com/

i-Open Technologies Inc., based in Abbotsford, specializes in geospatial web-mapping applications, data integration and spatial artificial intelligence. The company is developing Agrilyze, B.C.’s first spatial data analytics platform for precision agriculture that collects, tracks and maps data allowing for efficiency and better regulatory compliance while optimizing resource usage (such as human, equipment, consumables and waste).
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on i-Open Technologies Inc., visit: https://www.i-opentech.com/

Lucent BioSciences, based in Vancouver, has 17 employees. It develops sustainable, carbon-positive, non-polluting micronutrient fertilizers that improve soil health. Lucent BioSciences Inc. will work with Salmon Arm’s Valid Manufacturing Ltd. to take recovered dry-cake dairy livestock waste and transform it into a non-polluting, safe, high-performance fertilizer and bring it to market.
Grant award: over $245,000
To learn more about Lucent BioSciences Inc., visit: https://lucentbiosciences.com/

Mesh Exchange Inc. (doing business as: FoodMesh) is a Vancouver-based corporation building digital solutions to reduce and track food waste for the food sector. FoodMesh has 13 staff and will work to commercialize a data aggregation and insights engine to help retailers reduce and prevent avoidable wasted food.
Grant award: $450,000
For more information on FoodMesh, visit: https://foodmesh.ca/

NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics is an agri-biotech company, located in Vancouver, working to combat rising resistance to anti-infectives and their accumulating residue in the environment. It does this by developing next-generation biologics that target and neutralize the specific bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause intestinal ailments in livestock, aquaculture and pets. NovoBind’s novel biotherapeutic solutions are based on nanobodies (or single-domain antibodies) and provide a complementary alternative to conventional treatments. 
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics, visit: https://www.novobind.com/

Point 3 Biotech Corp. (PT3) is an agritech consortium of more than 20 technology pioneers that have come together to drive technology solutions at the back end of animal agriculture, such as developing community scale manure management. PT3 plans to use recovered and processed dairy manure fibre instead of the wood fibre that B.C. imports, for hog fuel, shavings, sawdust and compost. The project will demonstrate the ability to harvest long strand dairy manure fibre from farms that bed on sand, for use in poultry barns and mushroom production.
Grant award: over $255,000
For more information on Point 3 Biotech Corp., visit: https://pt3.ca/

Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corp. is a Vancouver-based global leader in robotics and artificial intelligence, creating general-purpose robots able to perform physical work supporting the human labour force. It is currently working on a robotic hand to semi-automate blueberry picking and as proof of concept for the semi-automated harvesting of cherries, raspberries, strawberries and other potential applications.
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corp., visit: https://ca.linkedin.com/company/sanctuaryai

Skipper Otto of Vancouver is a community-supported fishery that connects fishers/harvesters directly to consumers. The company represents 37 small-scale, independent fishers/harvesters and 5,000 consumers. Skipper Otto’s digital expansion project will use a technology partner to enhance agritech software for independent producers, filling a gap in the marketplace.
Grant award: over $225,000
For more information on Skipper Otto, visit: https://skipperotto.com/

TechBrew Robotics is a robotics company based in Salmon Arm. The company provides solutions for industry. TechBrew plans to develop a final prototype of a mushroom harvesting robot able to identify, locate and automatically pick mushrooms ready for harvest, without damaging them. This can result in a significant increase in yield and solve labour issues.
Grant award: $500,000
For more information on TechBrew Robotics, visit: https://techbrew.com/

ThisFish Inc. of Vancouver is a leader in seafood traceability and production software that reduces costs, strengthens process control and improves compliance in global supply chains. ThisFish employs 13 people and will work on scaling up by establishing an operational centre in B.C. to position it for North American growth.
Grant award over: $350,000
For more information on ThisFish Inc., visit: https://this.fish/

Trident Processes of Abbotsford employs eight people and develops and automates processing systems for liquid and solid separation of agricultural wastewater into high-value fibre biomass, nutrients and water. Trident’s project will determine community needs and whether a business case exists to establish a future manure processing plant.
Grant award over: $410,000
For more information on Trident Processes, visit: https://tridentprocesses.com/

Valid Manufacturing Ltd., is a 142-employee company based in Salmon Arm. It designs, engineers and manufactures innovative solutions for a wide range of industries. The company has recently developed a nutrient recovery system to help dairy farms manage their agriculture waste. Valid Manufacturing Ltd. will work with Vancouver’s Lucent BioSciences Inc. to take recovered dry-cake dairy livestock waste and transform it into a non-polluting, safe, high-performance fertilizer and bring it to market.
Grant award: $320,000
To learn more about Valid Manufacturing Ltd., visit: https://validmfg.com/

Verdi Expeditions is a Vancouver-based startup that climate proofs crops by helping farmers customize growing conditions for every plant. Verdi will focus on piloting and commercializing hyper-precise irrigation technology, which has been piloted successfully at two wineries.
Grant award: $300,000
To learn more about Verdi Expeditions, visit: https://verdiag.com/

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