Did you know BC is home to over 150 companies leading the development and production of world-class agriculture technologies to solve food security, traceability, and sustainability problems? As a result, the agritech sector is thriving in British Columbia. Like-minded businesses, groups, communities, and Indigenous peoples are partnering to create an economic and investment climate that is environmentally, ethically, and economically conscious. To support their endeavours, the government of BC and Canada invested $7.5 million in grants to help BC agritech, agriculture and technology companies scale up, expand and develop technologies.
We are proud to announce that i-Open Technologies is a recipient of the BC Agritech Grant, a program that helps fund and stimulate the development and testing of new technologies while increasing sustainable and regenerative food production in BC. As an Abbotsford-based technology company, i-Open received $500,000 to develop Agrilyze, its data-driven analytics platform for precision agriculture, first of its kind in BC and part of the world’s first interactive, operational planning software for autonomous agriculture. With the ever-pressing need to solve global problems like climate change and a growing population, the platform pulls data together from farmers, researchers and the government to help farmers become more efficient while increasing their output, lowering costs and improving their environmental footprint.
We had the chance to work with Trade and Invest British Columbia to produce a video about i-Open’s passionate endeavour to empower people to create real and sustainable technology solutions for a better planet. The film features CTO Jonathon McIntyre, an innovator who is helping shape the future of agriculture. Jonathon answered some burning questions and helped clarify i-Open’s focus and goal to bring data together and allow farmers to employ their expertise to do new and exciting things. Jonathon and his team have leveraged the BC Agritech Grant to partner with some dedicated groups in BC and Canada. For example, they are working with Bakerview EcoDairy on solutions for manure output, tying it to reducing carbon output. In addition, they’ve recently published the Food Asset Map, which was a collaboration with MITACS, QuantoTech Solutions Ltd, and Robert Newell and his team at UFV. Throughout all of these opportunities, i-Open has been able to bring on more staff, software developers and is investing in significant projects like the Standard Data Platform for Autonomous Agriculture, which is funded by Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.
The ultimate lesson to learn? Innovation in agriculture is critical because it takes the way things have been done and moves it in a way to feed the world and help solve climate change. BC provides a compatible environment to grow throughout most of the year and is a great place for investing in agriculture due to access to a wide variety of markets and support from a progressive and innovative government committed to a sustainable economy for everyone. i-Open is solving problems that weren’t solvable because now innovative brains are looking at it differently.
Check out the full blog post with Jonathon’s interview here.