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Olds College and SVG Ventures, are pleased to announce that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the establishment of SVG’s THRIVE Canada Accelerator and start-up program focused on technology-driven solutions to support the agriculture and food sectors. By facilitating strategic relationships across these sectors, SVG Ventures will have the opportunity to develop its Canadian presence and to engage with the innovation capabilities, industry strengths and commercialization expertise within the Canadian markets.
SVG is a leading global agri-food innovation platform comprising agriculture, food and technology corporations, universities and investors. 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. SVG does this by investing in start-ups, connecting entrepreneurs with agriculture and food producers and accelerating early stage companies.
Olds College, in collaboration with its industry and sector partners, is converting the whole of its farming operation to a Smart Farm: an interconnected environment through which the college is leveraging its land (2,000 acres), existing agriculture operations, and applied research programming, in order to provide a product development and demonstration venue to accelerate agriculture technology and agri-food development.
“The Olds College Smart Farm is essentially a giant lab that provides the agriculture sector with a venue for commercial-scale applied research and demonstration,” comments Stuart Cullum, President of Olds College. “Collaborating with SVG Ventures will provide Olds College with a platform to support early stage companies by connecting with SVG’s global network of entrepreneurs and corporate clients that are looking to invest in the future of the agriculture sector here in Canada.”
“We are delighted to partner with Olds College to expand our THRIVE Innovation & Investment Platform. This partnership exemplifies our focus on global entrepreneurs and continued commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the global Agrifood sector,” said John Hartnett, Chief Executive Officer and founder, SVG Ventures.
“Agriculture is a key pillar in the province’s relaunch strategy. We are focused on attracting more than $1.4 billion in investments to expand opportunities for value-added agriculture, which will create more than 2000 jobs,” said Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. “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.”
“The Calgary-Olds Smart Agri-Food Corridor is leveraging Calgary’s global corporate presence and distribution hub with Olds College’s Smart Farm applied research and integrated learning to create a leading smart agri-food ecosystem in Canada. Adding SVG’s THRIVE platform to assist local entrepreneurs and its mission is to advance technology in agriculture and food industries supports our goal to be the region for the best entrepreneurs who want to apply advanced technology to solve the world’s biggest challenges,” said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Economic Development.
Olds College Smart Farm
The Olds College Smart Farm is attracting investment and engagement from companies ranging from multi-national ag and tech companies to SMEs (small and medium enterprises). It also provides students with a learning environment centred on the future of ag and technology, setting the learning experience apart from other programming in the country.
The philosophy and principles guiding the development and operation of the Olds College Smart Farm are centred around engaging producers and industry on addressing real-world problems by utilizing and integrating technology and data. The Smart Farm is also focused on teaching students how to integrate, manage and leverage ag technology for the enhancement and sustainability of agri-food production.
To learn more about the Olds College Smart Farm, please visit: oldscollege.ca/smartfarm
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