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Canada supports innovative solutions for agricultural and environmental challenges

Climate change is destabilizing our environment and bringing more extreme weather. Farmers and agricultural workers know, first hand, how important a healthy environment is. When droughts, floods, storms, and other extreme weather hits, their livelihood suffers. Canadians know that we need a healthy environment for a strong economy.

The Government of Canada is taking action with initiatives like cutting edge research on climate change and biodiversity at the Experimental Farm. The Government is also supporting the innovations of small businesses and entrepreneurs who have bold ideas that can protect our environment and create new sustainable solutions for the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

Today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Catherine McKenna, on behalf of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $600,000 under the Innovative Solutions Canada program for four new projects. Minister McKenna made the announcement following a tour of the Experimental Farm where she met with researchers and discussed their work on environmental sustainability.

20 federal departments, across government, have committed a total of $100 million to support the Canada’s small business innovators and entrepreneurs, through Innovative Solutions Canada. This program uses the Government of Canada’s purchasing power to help companies scale up and grow their businesses.  Today’s announcement provides up to $150,000 each to four businesses with exciting new ideas for solving challenges in the agriculture sector:

  • EcoEnviro Labs Inc. will test a new organic bioplastic mulch made from poultry feathers. This is a lower-waste, fully biodegradable and compostable way to produce mulch needed in Canada’s agriculture.
  • Titan Clean Energy Projects Corp. will be testing a food-grade quality bioplastic, ideal for fruit or prepared vegetable containers,that biodegrades more quickly, meaning less landfill and more sustainable options for grocery stores and shoppers.
  • Troo Corporation will test the viability of their idea for an agricultural ‘Internet of Things’. The smart data hub will collect data from existing farm management tools and bring them together in one place, reducing the research and operational costs for small producers and increasing the adoption of precision agricultural practices; and
  • Expert Systems Inc. will be testing a drone-based technology that uses artificial intelligence to provide a more affordable and fully autonomous crop protection and spraying solution that will help reduce herbicide and pesticide use as well as operational costs for producers.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada recognizes the important role innovators and entrepreneurs play in our economy. The four projects announced today have the potential to make Canada’s agriculture sector more profitable and sustainable, and we look forward to seeing the results.” 

– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“These innovative solutions are great example of the transformation that is underway in Canada’s agriculture and environment sectors. Our government is proud to see Canadian small businesses at the forefront of finding solutions to environmental challenges that affect Canada and our planet as a whole.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program is investing up to $100 million to support the scale up and growth of Canada’s small business innovators and entrepreneurs by having the federal government act as a first customer.
  • Up to $600,000 has been committed for four projects that were submitted to address two ISC challenges issued by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Improved Composability of Bioplastics and Scaling Down Precision Agriculture.
  • If successful at the proof of concept stage, projects are each eligible for up to $1 million under Phase 2 of the ISC for prototype development. The government may then act as a first customer, helping these small businesses commercialize their innovations.
  • Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year plan to make Canada a global innovation leader and create middle-class jobs.

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