Ag Tech News

Agritech Innovation Challenge helping British Columbia Producers and Processors Grow

August, 2019 – Victoria, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture

British Columbia’s Agritech Innovation Challenge has awarded a total of $150,000 to three innovative projects. These projects will see British Columbia (B.C.) beekeepers gain an edge in the battle with the Varroa mite, mushroom producers use robots to harvest and winemakers produce wine more efficiently.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University will continue to explore how a nontoxic chemical compound can target the Varroa mite, a pest that can cause significant bee colony loss. Effective Varroa control promotes healthy hives and increases the probability of hives surviving the winter. Results from this study could lead to healthier hives in British Columbia, an increased availability of local pollinators, improved honey production, and a reduction of imported bee colonies.

BarrelWise Technologies Ltd. in Vancouver has developed a barrel plug and dispensing system that allows wine barrels to remain sealed during the entire aging process, reducing the risk of contamination and the amount of sulphur needed to control it. The new system will track data, allowing the winemaker to monitor each barrel in production.

Technology Brewing Corporation, a company located in Salmon Arm, is developing a vision guided robot capable of accurately picking, trimming and placing mushrooms in store-ready boxes. This project could help get British Columbia mushrooms to market quicker and help address the mushroom sector’s labour shortage.

Each of the three projects will receive $50,000 from the federally and provincially funded Agritech Innovation Challenge, as well as mentorship and market validation training through Innovate BC. The Agriculture Innovation Challenge was presented in collaboration with Innovate BC and aims to increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of British Columbia's agriculture, agrifood and seafood industries, while providing tech companies with access to new customers and products with global market potential.

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


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