Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the British Columbia government are creating an innovation centre dedicated to developing and commercializing agricultural technology. Through PacifiCan, the federal government is providing up to $10 million over five years for the centre with a contribution from the province of up to $6.5 million over three years.

It is the government’s hope that the centre will provide economic opportunities to Indigenous communities and assist small and medium-sized agtech companies in scalability, profitability growth, and job creation. SFU PhD student, Lilian Yang, is “confident that the centre will provide students with opportunities to gain real-world experience with professionals outside of the academic sphere—and produce new generations of capable and well-rounded scientists”.

Located at Surrey Campus, the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation is slated to open in September. It will bring together academic institutions, government agencies, and industry partners to develop, test, and pilot solutions.

It is expected that 200 jobs will be created and 700 people will be trained as a result of the funding of the centre. The investment also enables SFU, the University of the Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University, and the University of Northern British Columbia to collaborate on 30 new agtech projects by 2025. As a result of this, the BC government is strengthening its previous efforts to expand agtech innovation in a province that currently has 150 agritech companies in the food processing, precision agriculture, biotechnology, and food safety sectors.


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