Advancing Canadian Smart Farms
CAAIN Awards Smart Farm Network Platform Contract to Manitoba-Based Firm
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, December 19, 2023—The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) today announced it has selected Winnipeg’s TheoryMesh Corp. to develop the online communications and data sharing and integration platform that will link members of a Canada-wide system of integrated smart farm networks. The solution is intended to allow the smart farms to share data and best practices, leveraging each other’s work to improve Canadian agricultural technology, practices, and performance.
Initially, the platform will connect the eight sites that comprise the CAAIN-funded Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network, which is led by Olds College of Agriculture & Technology and includes facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. Other networks are in the planning stages and will focus on a range of agricultural products. The ability of the smart farms to collaborate by means of the TheoryMesh platform will add significant value to an initiative that will promote the validation, demonstration, and adoption of emerging technologies.
If we are to increase much-needed agri-food productivity in an era characterised by a changing climate and the ever-present need to carefully manage natural resources, we must research and develop innovation that will enhance outcomes, here and around the world. Canadian farmers are by their very nature innovative risk-takers. However, they will not jump into an enterprise without having a sense of its potential return on investment. That’s where smart farms come in. They serve as a real-world testing ground where researchers can put new agtech through its paces, helping manufacturers perfect their equipment and allowing producers to gauge its value for themselves.
“We are looking forward to working with TheoryMesh as we expand our system of smart farm networks,” said CAAIN CEO, Darrell Petras. “This will be the first of its kind in Canada, and will allow CAAIN to build on its leadership role in facilitating the development and adoption of world-class agri-food innovation. Our ability to leverage the robustness and flexibility of the data platform will transform agriculture as we know it. Success breeds success, and as smart farms come on board and demonstrate the value of the networks, others will want to join, building momentum and allowing our country’s innovators to lead the global agtech sector.”
The project will employ TheoryMesh’s FarmCapture platform and collaboration tools to integrate and manage multi-source smart farm data. The state-of-the-art software will allow researchers to incorporate new data sources quickly and effectively, to collaborate on projects, and to apply machine learning and AI for new insights. TheoryMesh will be releasing a new version of FarmCapture integrated with Microsoft’s Project FarmVibes calculation models, Azure Synapse-based data lakes, Azure IoT for sensor integration, and Azure OpenAI Service to gain new insights leveraging large language models.
“We are excited to be part of this initiative and look forward to adding significant value to CAAIN’s planned system of smart farm networks,” said TheoryMesh CEO, Chris Bunio. “Our team is committed to building on our expertise in data management, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to help drive innovation that will benefit Canadian farmers, processors, and consumers. Our work with Microsoft to leverage leading-edge AI with Azure and AI tools such as Project FarmVibes will provide producers and researchers innovative tools to deliver improved outcomes for sustainable agriculture.”
"Data-driven agriculture will shape the farm of the future," says Ranveer Chandra, CTO of Agri-Food, Microsoft. "Innovative technology companies like TheoryMesh using next-gen Microsoft tech are helping to build a more productive, cost-effective and sustainable model for the farmers of tomorrow."
For more information on CAAIN and its projects, go to https://caain.ca.
For more information on TheoryMesh, go to https://theorymesh.com/.
The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) is a not-for-profit company launched in July 2019 with funding of $49.5‑million from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, and assistance from Alberta Innovates in the form of significant in-kind contributions. CAAIN drives collaborative agri-food technology research and innovation from coast to coast.
TheoryMesh Corp is a Winnipeg, Canada-based software company bringing advanced technology to agriculture and food companies to deliver traceability and sustainability through their supply chains. TheoryMesh’s FarmCapture, FoodTrace, ProcessAI and FoodCertify products are used to digitally transform farms and food companies, providing advanced capabilities to manage data and leverage analytics and AI for better insights. TheoryMesh integrates machine learning, AI, and blockchain throughout an integrated platform to provide verifiable traceability, transparency, and sustainability. For more information, visit www.theorymesh.com.