Canada and UK collaborate on projects focused on sustainable agriculture


Seven Canadian firms have been approved to pursue collaborative projects with UK partners through the Canada-UK industrial research and development call for proposals delivered by Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The successful projects are focused on improving productivity and sustainability in the agricultural industry, including crop, livestock, and/or aquaculture systems using precision and data-driven solutions.

The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is providing advisory services and up to CDN$2.9 million in research and development funding to support these projects:
• up to $600,000 to JCA Technologies (Winnipeg, Man.) for a project with Precision Decisions (UK) and Farmscan Ag Limited (UK) to develop an integrated precision agriculture platform that provides data from agricultural machine control applications to be used for planning, analytics and deploying intelligent task direction to a fleet of machines;
• up to $476,000 to Société pour l'information industrielle (SII Canada) (Montréal, Que.) for a project with AirBorne Robotics (UK) and ADAS (UK) to develop a specialized unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype and semi-autonomous remote sensing tool for in-field assessment, identification and diagnosis of problematic areas;
• up to $338,121 to Innovasea Marine Systems (Bedford, N.S.) for a project with RS Aqua Limited (UK) to develop an early warning system for the aquaculture industry that provides notification of potential and imminent harmful algal blooms which can contribute to higher incidences of disease and elevated mortality on fish farms;
• up to $376,247 to Mara Renewables Corporation (Dartmouth, N.S.) for a project with Devenish (UK) to develop the next generation of algae-derived products for use in poultry production in the UK, Canada and other commercial markets worldwide;
• up to $300,000 to TrustBIX Inc. (Edmonton, Alta.) for a project with Arden Biotechnology (UK) to extend the development of their natural feed supplement technology and apply it to the Canadian poultry and other livestock sectors;
• up to $405,000 to Bow Valley Genetics (Rosemary, Alta.) for a project with Raft Solutions Limited (UK), Dyneval Limited (UK) and Ostara Biomedical Limited (UK) to develop innovative new technologies related to bovine fertility and advanced breeding techniques;
• up to $457,830 to Sona Nanotech (Halifax, N.S.) for a project with Clarity Biosolutions Limited (UK) and Bond Digital Health Ltd. (UK) to develop a new highly accurate, objective test to rapidly detect, manage, control and ultimately eradicate bovine tuberculosis.
Project partners from the UK will receive up to a combined CDN$3.5 million (£2.2 million) in funding support from UKRI’s Innovate UK under its Transforming Food Production initiative targeting net-zero agriculture by 2040.
In July 2018, the NRC and UKRI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on research and innovation that provides the foundation for the development of a stronger science, technology and innovation relationship between the two institutions. Under these MoUs, UKRI and NRC IRAP have supported over $30 million in collaborative innovation projects between Canadian and UK small and medium-sized enterprises.
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New AG International November/December 2020

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