Telus, Microsoft and IBM team up with 17 PSEs to back agriculture innovation project

Some of this country’s largest technology companies are backing a $250 million, nationwide industry-led project shortlisted for federal innovation funding and designed to spur economic growth by better utilizing agricultural data.

Telus, Microsoft and IBM officials were among the more than 100 attendees who participated in a day-long data discussion organized by the Smart Agri-Food Super Cluster (SASC) in Ottawa, Tuesday. SASC, valued at $250 million and pegged to create up to 300,000 new jobs, is one of two industry-led agriculture innovation projects to be shortlisted for up to $950 million in federal funding.

The nearly $1 billion in federal funding was promised in Budget 2017 and earmarked for business-led innovation projects, called “superclusters,” aimed at bolstering Canadian economic growth within select industries and sectors.

The United Nations expects the world’s population to reach nine billion people in 2050 — growth that will require Canadian farmers and ranchers to increase production by 70 per cent to meet demand. Canada is currently the world’s fifth largest agriculture exporter.

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News Date: January 15, 2018