Earlier this year the Ministry of Agriculture and Innovate BC started looking for B.C.-based technology solutions to serve the needs of the Province’s agriculture industry through the Agritech Innovation Challenge.

Last week the Ministry announced the three winning projects that will share a total of $150,000 in funding.

These projects will see winemakers produce their product more efficiently, mushroom producers use robots to harvest, and B.C. beekeepers gain an edge in the battle with the varroa mite.

Vancouver’s BarrelWise Technologies has developed a barrel plug and dispensing system that allows wine barrels to remain sealed during the entire aging process, reducing the risk of contamination and the amount of sulphur needed to control it.  The new system will track data, allowing the winemaker to monitor each barrel in production.

Salmon Arm’s Technology Brewing Corporation is developing a vision-guided robot capable of accurately picking, trimming and placing mushrooms in store-ready boxes. This project could help get B.C. mushrooms to market quicker and help address the mushroom sector’s labour shortage.

Researchers at SFU will continue to explore how a non-toxic chemical compound can target the varroa mite, a pest that can cause significant bee colony loss. Results from this study could lead to healthier hives in B.C., an increased availability of local pollinators, improved honey production and a reduction in imported bee colonies.

Each of the three projects will receive $50,000 from the federally and provincially funded Agritech Innovation Challenge.

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