BC Agri-Innovation Program funds 14 new projects
August 15, 2020 By Government of British Columbia
The governments of Canada and British Columbia are supporting 14 new projects with more than $2.4 million through the Canada-British Columbia Agri-Innovation Program to help create opportunities in the province’s agricultural and technology industries.
BC Hot House Foods to cultivate greenhouse strawberries
Surrey-based BC Hot House Foods is widely known for its greenhouse-grown cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. With funding of over $380,000, BC Hot House is working to develop a feasible method to cultivate greenhouse strawberries commercially in B.C. for people to enjoy year-round. The company is working with experts from Europe who have had success in growing soft fruit in protected environments.
Ecoation to test automated pesticide-free crop treatment
Ecoation Innovative Solutions in North Vancouver is receiving $500,000 to develop and test an automated pesticide-free crop treatment system that will immediately address pests in greenhouse vegetables, using a crop monitoring robot the company invented. The technology involves use of biological control agents and UV-based disinfection. The location-based intelligence is gathered and provided to growers through a web application that was developed by Ecoation. The technology’s treatment system pilot in vegetable greenhouses will be the first time it is used in Canada.
The following 14 projects received more than $2.4 million in support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership under the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program. This brings the total funding to over $7.3 million since the program began in April 2018.
Advanced Intelligent Systems:
- $469,000 to prototype and test an autonomous pruning robot configured to navigate in a greenhouse and load, trim and unload potted plants
AgriForest Bio-Technologies Ltd.:
- $72,000 to make locally certified, virus-free planting materials of the best performing grape varieties in commercial-sized quantities
BC Hot House Foods:
- $383,100 to develop a method to grow greenhouse strawberries commercially in B.C.
BC Turkey Growers Association:
- $18,076 to explore a potential technology to help reduce the effects poultry diseases have on the local turkey production system
Confirmed Automation Systems:
- $146,090 to develop and test a prototype that mechanically helps mushroom pickers by automatically trimming stems and gently filling boxes to the correct target packing weights
Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust:
- $161,050 to evaluate farm management practices on commercial blueberry fields to improve pollination services from native pollinators and pest control from insects
Dicklands Farms FLP:
- $345,000 to install and demonstrate equipment that converts liquid manure and left-over material into clean water and a concentrated nutrient-rich liquid
Ecoation Innovative Solutions:
- $500,000 to develop and test an automated pest and disease treatment that can address the issues detected by a monitoring robot using biological control agents and UV-based disinfection
Forest Foods Ltd.:
- $14,749 to develop two processing facility designs to use in Indigenous communities in B.C. currently engaged in the production of forest mushrooms and plant-based foods
- $46,625 to help develop fermented spaghetti and other long noodles, including testing, prototyping and production
Kwantlen Polytechnic University:
- $20,000 to develop and verify a DNA profiling strategy for hydrangeas to accurately identify varieties to ensure consistency and for the development and registration of new varieties
- $60,020 to explore how the use of no-till planted cover crops in an Okanagan Valley vineyard affects the soil carbon content, overall soil chemistry, fruit and vine chemistry, and soil microbiology and how the use of cover crops can replace the need for synthetic fertilizer in vineyard and orchard systems
University of British Columbia:
- $120,000 to use hemp waste to produce nanocellulose, a light solid substance obtained from plant matter, and develop new hemp nanocellulose-based bioplastic materials for food packaging
Valid Manufacturing LTD.:
- $125,000 to complete the third stage of its project, which includes the implementation and demonstration of more features of the prototype dewatering centrifuge designed to support the business and environmental needs of the B.C. dairy industry
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