A new agreement signed by Lethbridge College and SVG Ventures|THRIVE will bring together entrepreneurs, industry experts and researchers to support Alberta’s agriculture sector. Megan Shapka is the director of applied research operations at the college and says the ag industry has changed tremendously over the last decade and adds its not about sitting in a tractor plowing fields.
“There are a lot of hi-tech things happening. Computerized equipment, robots driving tractors instead of people, so it’s a really exciting time to be in ag research.” She adds the program is focusing in three primary areas including post-harvest technology, irrigation, and greenhouses.
Shapka says there are large number of start-up companies with incredible ideas to help the ag industry, and the college is ready to lend a hand. “They are going to need to go to research institutions because they are going to want to validate their technologies and test things out and that is exactly what we do with our research experts at Lethbridge College.”
Lethbridge College’s agriculture research is facilitated through the Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre, which includes the college’s Irrigation Demo Farm, greenhouse operations on the Lethbridge College campus and in Brooks, and research teams focused on irrigation, post-harvest technology and aquaponics. THRIVE will strive to partner with Lethbridge College on opportunities for connectivity with start-ups that require testing and validation or follow-up through applied research projects.
THRIVE is comprised of top agriculture, food and technology corporations, universities, and investors. With a community of over 6,000 start-ups from more than 100 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates, and creates access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries.
By partnering with Lethbridge College, THRIVE can connect agricultural-based entrepreneurs with the expertise in the college’s Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CARIE).