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Smart Agri-Food Supercluster shortlisted for federal funding

On Thursday, Oct. 12, the Government of Canada announced the shortlisted applicants for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. Nine applicants were shortlisted and up to five will be selected as Canada’s new superclusters.

Among those shortlisted is the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster (SASC). Lakeland College is one of 53 partners involved in the SASC. The purpose of this initiative is to advance smart-enabled agriculture. The Smart Agri-Food Supercluster would add informatics, connectivity and traceability in the crop, livestock and agri-food processing sectors to make Canada the preferred global supplier of sustainable, high-quality, safe food.

Lakeland is proud to be an active member of the SASC and is pleased the consortium was selected to submit a full application. Lakeland currently serves 478 students in its School of Agricultural Sciences at the Vermilion campus and is active in crop and livestock research. If the full application is successful in securing federal funding, Lakeland looks forward to expanding its role in smart agriculture education and late stage technology research and development.

The following is the SASC news release:

Smart Agri-Food Supercluster Shortlisted To Compete for a Share of Federal Government $950 Million Funding Initiative

October 12, 2017, Calgary, AB - The Smart Agri-Food Supercluster (SASC) is one of nine supercluster proposals from across the country that has been shortlisted to provide a full application to the federal government to receive a piece of their $950-million supercluster initiative funding.

Focused on creating value by removing barriers in field systems that span the value chain from input providers to growers, processors, grocers and the public, the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster is a multi-stakeholder consortium comprised of over 50 firms representing industry, academia, growers and government.

“We are honoured and very excited to be selected to submit full application,” comments Stuart Cullum, Olds College President. “Our goal is to accelerate agri-food innovation efforts through a unique collaboration framework. We will be working with our phase one applicants and existing partners to more fully define the Smart Agri-Food Superclusters governance, operating processes and principles, as well as to fully outline our foundational projects.”
The Smart Agri-Food Supercluster secretariat will be housed at Olds College and encompasses partners from across Canada.

“Through strategic investment, the Supercluster will help position Canada as an agriculture leader creating new jobs, investment and enhancing market access for the ag sector, while improving social and environmental performance,” comments Bill Whitelaw, Chair of the SASC Steering Committee. “We want to approach innovation from a systems perspective, in order to create a Canada-wide platform to help link together key partners and expertise in the country’s agri-food value chain.”

“As one of several partners backing the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster, we are looking forward to working with SASC to come up with innovative solutions to advance the agriculture sector, and position Canada as a preferred global supplier of safe, sustainable food,” comments Doug Beever, Senior Director Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, Agrium.

The 53 partners that currently make up the SASC, include: Agrium, TELUS Communications, Farmers Edge, Inc., BIXSco, Olds College, A & L Laboratories, ABB Canada, Advanced Agricultural Finance Inc., AgriTrend/Trimble, Alberta Cattle Feeders, AVAC Ltd, Bayer Crop Science, Cargill Ltd, FarmLead Resources, Fertilizer Canada, Gas Plume Imaging, Hydro Ottawa, Indian Business Corp, Lystek International, MDA Systems Ltd, ViewTrak Technologies Inc., Weather Innovations Consulting LP, Zedi Canada, Alberta Clean Technology Alliance, Alberta Innovates, Assiniboine Community College, Beef Cattle Research Council, Calgary Economic Development, Canada Beef, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Bio Carbon Canada, Canadian Meat Council, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Carleton University, Duck’s Unlimited Canada, Centre for Sustainable Development/Earth Institute, Genome Alberta, Government of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Lakeland College, National Capital Commission, Niagara College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, City of Ottawa, Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, TECTERRA Inc, University of Alberta-Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, University of Manitoba, and WaterSMART Solutions Ltd.

Photo: The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development was joined by members of the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster and government as he announced the shortlisted supercluster applicants Thursday in Calgary. Lakeland College President Alice Wainwright-Stewart is pictured in the front row on the left side.

October 16, 2016
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