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Winners of GOC ag innovation challenge named

April 10, 2024  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

On April 5, Élisabeth Brière, MP for Sherbrooke, on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the five projects that will receive up to $1 million in funding each under Phase 2 of the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program – Challenge Stream.

The five projects, approved for funding by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, will target the Canadian controlled environment agriculture industry and the Canadian meat processing industry with the goal of advancing automation and robotic technologies. These companies have developed ideas to address challenges such as work productivity, labour shortages, and operational efficiency.

“Innovation is vital to address the challenges faced by producers and processors, such as labor shortages and improving conditions in greenhouses and slaughterhouses,” Brière said in a press release.


Under the Enhancing Automation in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Farming Challenge, projects include:

  • Exonetik Inc. – Developing a robotic arm to work alongside humans to harvest fruits and vegetables;
  • Mycionics Inc. – Developing a robotic mushroom harvester, packer and harvester lift; and
  • Kinova Inc. – Developing a robotic arm to pick, harvest and de-leaf cucumbers and strawberries.

Under the Canadian Meat Processing Technology Development Challenge, projects include:

  • Exonetik Inc. – Developing a low-cost, collaborative robot to help automate tasks; and
  • E.O.I Technologies Inc. – Developing sensors to collect data on fast moving conveyor systems.

“These cutting-edge solutions will help the sector overcome some of the challenges it faces, leading to a more prosperous and competitive future for Canadian agriculture. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you for your great work,” MacAulay said in a press release.

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