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FCC and Area X.O Evolve Collaboration to Accelerate Agri-tech Innovation, Adoption and Impact

Sept 28, 2023
Introducing the Re-Branded Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert

Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity and home of the Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert, together with Farm Credit Canada (FCC), today announced the evolution of their partnership to accelerate agri-tech innovation, adoption and impact on farmers, Canada’s agricultural sector and economy.

Building on four years of collaboration, FCC is expanding its sponsorship of the Ottawa Smart Farm over the next three years. This enhanced FCC-Area X.O partnership will:

  • Strengthen the capabilities of the re-branded Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert

  • Enable more agtech innovators, companies and producers to leverage these resources to accelerate their R&D and business growth and drive the adoption of new solutions

  • Inspire, excite and foster the next generation of agtech talent and producers

  • Catalyze even greater regional and national innovation collaboration, exchange of knowledge and best management practices among researchers, companies, producers, and other smart farms across Canada

This will help drive the development, commercialization and application of new agricultural technologies that can help increase the productivity, profitability and long-term sustainability of producers and fuel the competitiveness of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

Area X.O is one of four smart farms FCC is bringing together and supporting across the country. This is propelling a new era of collaborative agricultural innovation, economic growth, and problem-solving in Canada. This partnership enables innovators, companies and producers at the Ottawa Smart Farm to collaborate with partners in Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario and:

  • Address key agricultural challenges, including those related to the rising cost of farming and food; climate change; and long-term sustainability of the farming industry;

  • Acquire new learning, innovation and business opportunities; and

  • Help build the future farms and agriculture industry required to feed generations of Canadians.

Established by Invest Ottawa and the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert is nestled in the heart of Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity.  It provides producers, innovators and firms with access to leading resources, including:

  • One of the world's most advanced communications test systems

  • State-of-the-art AI and data analytic technologies

  • 100 acres of secure, completely gated farmland and demonstration area

  • The highest concentration of tech talent per capita in North America

These capabilities empower smart agriculture and data-driven decision-making, boosting the productivity, performance, and profitability of producers. These resources help to:

  • Accelerate the development, commercialization, and application of new agtech solutions

  • Catalyze fresh global market opportunities for agtech innovators, startups, and companies

  • Foster the creation of new agtech products, companies, and jobs in the nation's capital

This new chapter of the FCC-Area X.O partnership will fuel new outcomes and impacts at the Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert, and increase the contribution of the innovators, companies and producers it serves to the regional, national and global agriculture and agri-food industry.

Featured Quotes

"We are honoured to collaborate with FCC, a long-standing strategic partner, on our shared goals. Building directly on our refreshed strategic plan, and our vision and mission at Area X.O, this enhanced collaboration will enable us to grow our local economy and make a national and global impact. It will enable our community to collaborate on grand challenges and increase the long-term profitability and sustainability of producers we rely on, today and tomorrow. Together, we are creating agricultural solutions, companies and jobs for the future."

– Michael Tremblay, president and CEO, Invest Ottawa

“Farmer-led innovation is the foundation of the work at the Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert. FCC has been a proud supporter of the Ottawa Smart Farm project from the very beginning, and we are happy to contribute to the advancement of this important research, innovation and development facility. Developing these technologies helps to position our agriculture and food industry as a world leader in agtech and open the door for Canadian producers to be on the cutting edge of the practices that will make them successful.”

– Fred Wall, Vice-President of Marketing and Digital Agriculture, FCC

“Ottawa has a unique geographic mix of urban and rural land that no other large city in Canada possess with a substantial agriculture sector with more than 1,000 working farms and more 46,000 jobs. The Ottawa Smart Farm enables researchers, companies, and producers to access millions of dollars in technologies and collaborate on big agriculture challenges. This expanded partnership with FCC directly supports the innovation, economic and environmental goals we have established as a city. The knowledge and outcomes emerging from the Ottawa Smart Farm increases the competitiveness of our producers, and our regional economy.”

– His Worship Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of Ottawa

“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with FCC, a national agriculture and lending leader. Together, we are creating new opportunities for our agtech sector. This includes impactful research led by GPS Ontario and uOttawa with the Ottawa Smart Farm. This team has developed a new farming practice that requires 33% less fertilizer than conventional farming practices. It increases the yield by 30% while decreasing carbon emissions by 90%. We are excited to build on these outcomes, and help producers leverage these technologies and learnings to build a profitable and sustainable business.”

– Sonya Shorey, Vice-President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa

“GPS Ontario is a pioneer in the precision agriculture industry. We promote complete farm solutions from hardware to data management, providing a completely tailored solution for farmers in Eastern Canada and support for growers across North America. The Smart Farm at Area X.O is providing our firm with critical validation and demonstration space that outfitted with the advanced technology, expertise and industry Best Management Practices (BMPs). We are excited to build on the outcomes we have achieved to date and continually increase our impact on producers.”

– Jordan Wallace, Owner, GPS Ontario; Sales, Service, Support and Training Representative, Trimble

“I am passionate about the goals we are pursuing with GPS Ontario and the Ottawa Smart Farm at Area X.O. This R&D complex enables us to access leading technologies, data and expertise, and increase our research productivity, opportunity and impact. We are very encouraged by the outcomes achieved to date with our collaborators. This includes new farming practices that can increase the profitability of producers, while reducing their carbon footprint. I am excited to evolve this work with our partners and increase our impact on Canada’s agricultural industry.”

– Dr. Tet Yeap, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Backgrounder
About the Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert

Established by Invest Ottawa and the City of Ottawa at Area X.O in 2020, the Ottawa Smart Farm powered by AgExpert empowers producers and innovators to create, test, demonstrate, and commercialize new agricultural technologies. These include autonomous tractors, drones and advanced robotics, the Internet of Things, sensors and data analytics, and advanced communications, and other related technologies.  These emerging solutions can help producers improve crop yield and quality, optimize production efficiency and costs, reduce waste and carbon emissions from agricultural operations, enhance food safety and security, and strengthen overall farm management, performance, and productivity. For additional information, please visit: https://areaxo.com/smart-agriculture/

About Area X.O

Area X.O is the R&D complex in Canada's Capital that enables and accelerates the safe and secure development, testing, and adoption of next-generation smart mobility, autonomy, and connectivity technologies. Area X.O helps startups, SMEs, multinationals, and governments address grand challenges and opportunities, and get to market faster. Combining diverse expertise with Ottawa's telecom and cybersecurity strengths as a global tech hub and operating one of the most advanced communications infrastructures in the world, it is the only all-weather R&D complex of its kind in North America with a private and public Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) test facility on city streets that fuels the creation, commercialization, and adoption of breakthrough smart mobility innovations. These applications benefit our community, economy, and environment, and span: telecom, smart agriculture, defence, security, and public safety; unmanned aerial vehicles, and smart cities. Established and managed by Invest Ottawa, Area X.O leverages critical support from world-class founding partners, including: the Government of Canada (through FedDev Ontario), the Government of Ontario (through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network managed by the Ontario Centre of Innovation), the City of Ottawa, Accenture, BlackBerry QNX, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, and Ottawa's post-secondary institutions. For additional information, please visit: www.AreaXO.com

About Invest Ottawa

Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion, and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. Invest Ottawa is also the manager of Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub and one-stop business acceleration shop; and founder and operator of Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity technologies. Since 2013, Invest Ottawa has supported almost 14,000; contributed to the creation of more than 14,700 jobs; helped domestic companies raise $1.86 billion in capital; and attracted $1.47 billion in domestic and foreign direct investment to Ottawa. For more information, please visit: www.investottawa.ca

About FCC

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, dedicated to the industry that feeds the world. FCC employees are committed to the long-standing success of those who produce and process Canadian food by providing flexible financing, AgExpert business management software, information and knowledge. FCC provides a complement of expertise and services designed to support the complex and evolving needs of food businesses. As a financial Crown corporation, FCC is a stable partner that reinvests profits back into the industry and communities it serves. For more information, visit fcc.ca.

About AgExpert

AgExpert Field and Accounting software provides valuable insights as part of the testing, research, and technology development at the Ottawa Smart Farm. With customers in every province, and all sectors in Canadian agriculture and food production, AgExpert simplifies the entire process of record keeping from field to finance – giving farmers the information they need to make the best business decisions.

FCC AgExpert software is built for Canadian agriculture. AgExpert Accounting and AgExpert Field are simple solutions built to help record-keepers at every stage save time, stay organized, and manage their farm data with confidence. AgExpert is the first software in Canada to be Ag Data Transparent certified, which means your data is protected to the highest standards.

Media Contacts

Sonya Shorey
Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications
Invest Ottawa, Area X.O and Bayview Yards
613-851-9416
sshorey@investottawa.ca

Éva Larouche
Corporate Communication
Farm Credit Canada
1-888-780-6647
eva.larouche@fcc.ca