Vancouver-based agtech leader Terramera has announced that it is leading a significant project for the Canadian Digital Technology Supercluster (Supercluster).

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the Supercluster’s investment and commitment to the initiative at an event hosted at Terramera’s company headquarters last week.

The Terramera-led Precision Agriculture to Improve Crop Health project is designed to leverage cutting-edge technology to prevent pests and protect food crops while reducing pesticide use.

This important project brings together top researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Cancer Research, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, Compression.ai, Genome British Columbia, Sightline Innovation, Simon Fraser University, Trent University and the University of Saskatchewan.

The diverse group will focus on solving issues of crop loss due to climate change and the resulting increase in pests, pathogens and viruses. It will start by addressing wheat leaf rust, which threatens Canada’s $7 billion in wheat exports per year, before tackling other devastating crop diseases. The project is particularly timely, coinciding with the United Nations declaring 2020 the International Year of Plant Health.

“Terramera is committed to reducing or eliminating 80% of the synthetic pesticide load in agriculture globally by 2030, and this project helps advance our goal,” said Karn Manhas, Terramera Founder and CEO.

“We appreciate the opportunity to lead this important project through the Digital Technology Supercluster and collaborate with universities, government labs and innovative companies from across Canada to target crop disease management.”