Ag tech start-up initiative joins Olds

Olds College and SVG Ventures signed a memorandum of understanding July 17 that will see a start-up agriculture technology program become part of the college’s Smart Farm.

The SVG Thrive Canada Accelerator program is “focused on technology-driven solutions to support the agriculture and food sectors.”

SVG is an agri-food innovation platform that comprises agriculture, food and technology corporations and universities, according to a news release about the MOU.

“Based out of Silicon Valley, California, with a community of 5,000 startups from 100 countries, SVG invests, accelerates and creates access for entrepreneurs to scale globally. SVG’s mission is to advance the next generation of technology to support growth in the agriculture and food industries.”

The Smart Farm allows commercial-scale applied research and demonstrations. College president Stuart Cullum describes it as a “giant lab,” adding that collaboration with SVG will allow the college to serve as a platform for early stage companies to test concepts and invest in agriculture.

Alberta agriculture minister Devin Dreeshen said in a news release that the province wants to attract investment in value-added agriculture, and this announcement is part of that.

“This new initiative, championed by Olds College, will give our agriculture sector a technological advantage, drawing even more investment to Alberta while creating jobs at a time when Albertans need it most.”

John Hartnett, chief executive officer and founder of SVG Ventures, said the arrangement reflects the company’s focus on solving challenges within the global agri-food sector.

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