B.C. opens food tech challenge

April 29, 2019
Written by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (edited)
British Columbia’s tech sector is being invited to propose solutions to help B.C. food producers and processors increase their efficiency, sustainability and product traceability through the B.C. Agritech Innovation Challenge.

The federal and provincial government-funded challenge is offering a total of $150,000 in support for made-in-B.C. technology solutions in three defined categories:

Food processing technology: Mechanization, digitization and automation for micro- and small-scale processors to help ease the effects of any labour shortage. Examples could include plant-based protein processing and technology for fruit and vegetable freezing, drying and peeling.

Food traceability technologies: User-friendly and economical options for micro- and small-scale producers and processors to provide product tracking from farm to consumer. Examples include apps and software with different features and equipment compatibility.

Precision agriculture technologies and bioproducts: Improved precision tools, technologies and practices, as well as innovation that transforms agriculture waste into renewable products. Examples could include integrated sensors to monitor soil nutrients and bio-based materials (i.e., nutrients, bio-chemicals, fertilizers, fuels) produced from agricultural waste.

In addition to seed funding to advance new technologies, participants will receive mentorship and support through Innovate BC’s Agriculture Venture Accelerator Program. The challenge is being presented in collaboration with Innovate BC and aims to help increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of B.C.’s agriculture and seafood industries, while providing access to new customers with global market potential, encouraging company growth.

Submissions are due May 14, 2019. Details and timelines are available at: https://innovatebc.ca/what-we-offer/innovation-marketplace/agritech-challenge/

“Technology is transforming industries all over the world. The only way for traditional industries like agriculture to become more competitive, more efficient and more profitable is to adopt innovative, groundbreaking technologies that can have a global impact,” says Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO, Innovate BC.

Funding for the Agritech Innovation Challenge is provided by the Government of British Columbia and through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector.

“The BC Food Processors Association is excited about the potential for the Agritech Innovation Challenge to assist food and beverage manufacturers in B.C. Our industry is already well known for creating unique, innovative products, but in order to continue to compete and scale their businesses, there will be an ever-increasing need for technology, automation and advanced manufacturing to help them accomplish this. The Agritech Innovation Challenge creates a great platform for increased focus on this important field for our industries’ future,” says James Donaldson, CEO of BC Food Processors Association.

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