Growing innovation for B.C.’s agriculture industry
More than 100 years ago, Sukhpaul Bal’s great-grandfather founded the family’s Okanagan farm. The idea of today’s computerized systems and tech innovations were likely far from his imagination.
But traditional farming has come a long way, thanks largely to technology – highlighted by a recent competition from the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and BC Innovation Council.
Launching the Agriculture Innovation Challenge last November, BC Innovation Council and the Ministry of Agriculture aimed to promote technological innovations in the province’s agriculture industry.
“The agricultural industry in British Columbia is worth $13 billion and it’s growing every year. We’re hoping through events like this we can further support the sector’s ability to expand its diversity and growth,” says Nadine Diner, BC Innovation Council Director of Industry Initiatives.
Challenge competitors looked at everything from recycling solid waste into a value-added product to improving greenhouse efficiency, and six winners, ranging from young start-ups to those working on prototypes and implementation, collectively received more than $200,000.
“BC Innovation Council is about matching industry needs with BC innovative solutions,” Diner said. “Now each innovator is pursuing some sort of project with their funding.”
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