People in the Ontario agriculture industry will now have access to funding for pilot projects in robotics and artificial intelligence, the provincial government says in an August 19 news release.
The Innovator Stream is the second phase of the Agri-tech Innovation Program, a $22 million program launched in April to provide up to 60 per cent funding for eligible costs, to a maximum of $750,000. In this phase the industry will be able to fund pilot projects in robotics and artificial intelligence, to help address pandemic related challenges, ongoing labour shortages and create new opportunities for sector growth.
“Innovation is the driving force of competitiveness in modern agriculture, and the key to protecting our workforce while ensuring long-term success,” Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, says in a news release.
Funding eligibility will include targeted, specialized, high-impact projects that pilot or demonstrate cutting-edge technology, the release notes. Projects will require collaboration between at least two agri-food businesses, organizations and agri-food technology providers or developers.
The Innovators Stream intake will run from August 19 to Sept. 27, 2021.