Nearly $17 million in government funding will be backstopping the new B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation, which is set to open this September at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus.
Ottawa is putting $10 million towards the innovation hub over five years, while the province is earmarking $6.5 million over three years.
The government estimates the centre will help train 700 workers, create 200 jobs and deliver 30 new agritech projects by 2025.
Agritech – short for agricultural technology – is being deployed throughout the province to address issues such as food security, food waste, labour shortages, carbon reduction and climate change.
While the new innovation hub will be based at SFU’s Surrey campus, it will also be tapping expertise from other post-secondary institutions from across B.C.
The B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation is currently accepting applications for new projects for small-to-medium-sized businesses to cultivate, offering up support such as labs, staff and materials.
Applicants must be headquartered in B.C. and have at least four employees but fewer than 100, while the government said that the projects must have the potential to be commercialized within one to two years.