Lethbridge College and Olds College have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) focused on applied agriculture research.

To launch the agreement, both colleges have signed on to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), becoming the first two colleges in Alberta, and among the first in Canada, to sign the accord.

Both colleges are committed to supporting sustainable practices, in particular the stated SDGs of zero hunger, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, and partnerships.

The colleges will work together to identify joint projects, refer companies to each other based on the best fit with infrastructure and research expertise, and will share relevant data and networks. Both colleges have agriculture-based Technology Access Centres that offer fee-for-service research activities and will work collaboratively to provide attractive, consistent, and competitive fee structures for their industry partners.

“Both Lethbridge College and Olds College care deeply about creating real-world solutions for our province’s agriculture industry and leading the way into a sustainable future,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO. “By clearing the path for our applied research activities to easily collaborate and share information, producers and others in the agriculture industry will benefit, which boosts our province’s economy. And we are making our partnership even more powerful by signing the SDGs accord and showing commitment to being leaders in sustainability.”

The MOU will initially cover a three-year period and will be governed by a joint committee of representatives from both colleges.

“Olds College and Lethbridge College have a history of addressing the key issues and opportunities of Alberta’s agriculture sector, including through our growing applied research programs,” says Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College. “Our impact is significantly enhanced through collaboration and information sharing and this MOU formalizes our intent to work more closely in support of Alberta’s agriculture industry and our province’s economic recovery. By signing the SDG Accord, we also are embracing the leadership that the agriculture sector demonstrates and our roles in enhancing it for the benefit of our industry, our institutions and our students.”

Research teams at Lethbridge College operate under the Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre (IATC) within the Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship while the home of Olds College’s applied research is at the Centre of Innovation and Smart Farm.

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