Protein Industries Canada (PIC) announced July 20 their co-investment in a project that will improve data use within Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

The project is led by the Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI), in collaboration with the Alberta Data Institute (ADI), a program under Alberta Innovates, as well as a number of other participating organizations.

The EMILI Data Initiative will address data literacy knowledge gaps, and work to better understand important issues arising from the increasing use of data in the agri-food sector such as data ownership, standardization, and privacy.

The project will lead to a number of direct and indirect benefits, says PIC, including a better understanding of the current challenges and opportunities related to the use of data-intensive technologies, stronger trust and transparency related to data use, and culture-building surrounding data governance and stewardship across the value chain.

“Data offers Canada’s agrifood sector great opportunities for sustainable growth,” says the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “With support from the Protein Industries Supercluster, EMILI and its partners will offer unique insight and benefits all across the value chain, from farm to fork.”

The project will focus on four areas:

  • using hands-on technology demonstration to explore the ability to share data along the value chain;
  • researching data ownership, data privacy, and interoperability and standards for agri-food data;
  • developing data literacy training programs for producers, technologists and others working along the food value chain; and,
  • creating an advisory working group to provide oversight and direction for next steps.

“Improving the way our sector uses data will go a long way toward helping satisfy consumer demands,” says Bill Greuel, CEO of PIC. “With the right data systems in place, consumers will be able to trace their food from farm to fork—including its positive sustainability story. This project will help bring us closer to where the sector needs to be to make that a reality.”

A total of $903,000 is committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada contributing $438,000 and the project participants together committing $465,000.

This is PIC’s 23rd project announcement, including their third capacity building project announcement.

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