AI tech company receives $3M in funding

April 22, 2019
Written by Greenhouse Canada
AI tech company receives $3M in funding
Image by: Ecoation
Federal foundation, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has announced an investment of $3 million in an AI-based platform for pest management and yield prediction technology.

The investment’s recipient is Ecoation Innovation Solutions, a BC company that combines robotics, machine learning and measurements of plant health and biochemistry to created automated solutions for detecting early signs of plant stress in greenhouse crops. The goals are to find and fix crop issues faster, minimize loss and improve yields, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing chemical pesticide use.

According to the BC Greenhouse Growers' Association, growers lose up to 10 per cent of their crops to pests and diseases each year.

"Our platform captures and digitizes the knowledge of growers and translates the signals of stressed plants before symptoms become visible,” says Saber Miresmailli, founder and CEO of Ecoation. “We use robotics and AI to expand growers' presence and push their knowledge beyond the boundaries of time and geography. Through this platform, we can pinpoint issues at the earliest stages and eliminate the need for pesticide applications. Ecoation merges the art and science of food production. We are extremely honoured to receive this investment, which will enable us to take our Canadian technology to the global stage while creating more jobs and opportunities here in Canada."

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Funds from the SDTC are used to help Canadian entrepreneurs “accelerate the development and deployment of globally competitive clean technology solutions,” according to the release. “This investment will contribute to maintaining 25 jobs at Ecoation and creating 23 additional ones.”

"The information gathered by the Ecoation robot would be extremely helpful for increasing efficiency and reducing risks within our operations in Delta. We would highly endorse this as being a valuable project for the future sustainability and profitability of the greenhouse industry in Canada,” says Casey Houweling, proprietor of Houweling Greenhouses.

Of the 12 Canadian companies recognized on the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 list, 10 received support from the SDTC. “That's 10% of the world's leading clean tech companies,” according to the release.

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