- The British Columbia agritech sector represents significant opportunity for the agrifood and seafood industry, as it can help maximize productivity, minimize inputs and create greater value from B.C.’s farmland and coast.
- The Ministry of Agriculture is supporting the development and commercialization of innovative agritech to maximize commercialization opportunities and accelerate growth in agritech companies.
- By supporting agritech, B.C. is attracting new talent, creating jobs, and ensuring that the province’s agriculture industry remains ahead of the curve.
Supports for agritech
- The Ministry of Agriculture is supporting the development and commercialization of innovative Agriculture Technology (agritech) in a number of ways:
- The Agritech Innovation Challenge brought together innovators with industry to develop a product or process to enhance productivity, sustainability and resiliency of B.C.’s agrifood sector.
- At the #BCTech Summit, four British Columbia companies each won $20,000 for developing B.C. tech to help solve a problem identified as part of the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and the BC Innovation Council's Innovation Challenge.
- The winning companies are using local tech to deter birds from B.C. berry farms, provide up-to-the-minute health checks on crops, turn B.C. wood waste into fully compostable yarn for farm uses, and improve nutrient recovery from farm waste.
- An additional $160,000 in federal-provincial government funding is available to encourage the early adoption of innovative technology.
- The governments of B.C. and Canada partnered in the $13.4-million Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program (CBCAIP) program, to support new product development and commercialization.
- The CBCAIP provides funding to support industry-led, late-stage research, pilot and pre-commercial demonstration projects that lead to the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, processes, practices and technologies in B.C.
- The B.C. government invested $1 million to help create the University of the Fraser Valley’s Agriculture Centre of Excellence.
- The centre provides infrastructure and programs to identify and react to trends, challenges and opportunities in agribusiness that includes production, processing and marketing for food, ornamental plants and nutraceuticals.
- The B.C. government provided $844,000 to support a new agriculture- and technology-focused program, the AG-Tech Venture Acceleration Program (AVAP) in Mission.
- The program provides entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Fraser Valley with training, coaching and mentoring to maximize commercialization opportunities and accelerate growth in agritech companies.
- The B.C. government is also working with the BC Innovation Council on a four-year, $800,000 Bioenterprise BC program, which provide agri-tech entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Fraser Valley with business plan assistance, market analysis, funding guidance and networking to help accelerate their growth.
- Agri-tech helps support agriculture in communities throughout the province and the Ministry of Agriculture’s Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan’s goals of increasing farmland in production by 91,000 hectares, and the sector generating $15 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
- The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy.
- The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Agriculture