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Vineland names new head of automation


February 6, 2020
By Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
Hussam Haroun has been named director of automation at Vineland. Source: Vineland

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has hired a new director of automation. In his new role, Hussam Haroun will oversee Vineland’s activities related to automation, artificial intelligence and digital agriculture technologies.

Haroun launched his own start-up after patenting and commercializing new technology during graduate school. As CEO, he secured more than $3 million in seed investment and grew the company to 30 employees with multimillion dollar annual revenues.

Haroun holds a Master of Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from McMaster University and has experience in the telecommunications industry, managing multimillion dollar projects with Rogers Communications as a senior design engineer.

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“Haroun’s technical, business and leadership experience will provide an excellent foundation for his role at Vineland in leading the automation team to success,” says Tania Humphrey, PhD, vice president, Research & Development. “Automation is key for Canadian growers to address rising costs, labour accessibility and more efficient resource management. Vineland is proud to be a leader in this developing field.”

Vineland is home to a national automation research cluster supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Vineland researchers are leading three projects focused on horticulture: developing smart wireless irrigation technologies for potted plants, automating greenhouse cucumber harvest and developing a robotic solution for automated mushroom harvesting.

Vineland holds a leading role in the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN), which was announced last year by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to bring together academia, research institutions and the private sector to accelerate automation and digitization in Canadian agriculture.