Growing the Digital Agriculture Industry in a Global Pandemic

In 2019, EMILI joined forces with the University of Winnipeg for a project that combines academic research with industry innovation to generate a robust database of millions of labelled images. Throughout the 2020 growing season, images of prairie crops and weeds were collected multiple times per week from wheat, canola, soybean, and fava bean fields. Research partners Dr. Chris Bidinosti and Dr. Chris Henry will oversee the dataset’s continued expansion into the 2021 growing season. This dataset will soon be publicly accessible through our Technology and Talent Platform. Sign up for our quarterly newsletter to receive updates!

EMILI has partnered with Protein Industries Canada, Actua, and Agriculture in the Classroom Canada to develop a program that will introduce students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 to career opportunities in plant protein, agri-food, and digital agriculture. The program will be delivered by post-secondary student-educators and is targeted to reach students in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba over three years. The project aims to address the agriculture industry’s growing need for a skilled workforce with a focus on Indigenous and other underrepresented student groups. The program aims to build capacity and foster a competitive business environment within the plant protein sector as Canada works toward positioning itself as a global leader in the supply of plant-based products. View the official press release at

Digital Agriculture is defined as the application of intelligent technologies to any or all of the components of the agri-food value chain before, during, and after on-farm production.

On November 4, 2020, EMILI hosted Agriculture Enlightened, an exciting virtual AgTech conference. The one-day event brought together 29 diverse speakers from various agriculture sectors to share expertise and fresh ideas. In 12 unique sessions, expert panelists discussed overcoming innovation hurdles, academia’s role in precision agriculture, accessing capital, and advice for agtech startups. One of the many conference highlights was the Digital Innovation and Changing Consumer Demands session that featured speakers from Canterra Seeds, FarmLink, and Provision Analytics, who discussed the impact of consumer demands on agri-food innovation. In another session, Todd Janzen of Ag Data Transparent spoke about the need for the data transparency certification, the development process and revealed critical data ownership insights. Are you interested in attending or sponsoring Agriculture Enlightened 2021? Visit

EMILI and Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, are pleased to announce a partnership to drive digital innovation in the agri-food sector. The collaboration expands the Engine’s national network to provide resources to agri-tech and food startups and early-stage companies in Manitoba. Support will be extended through mentorship programs, access to strategic guidance from the Engine’s experts, and financial assistance for key business scale-up activities to ensure digital agriculture SMEs in Manitoba have what they need to thrive. For more information, please visit

Farmer 4.0 in 2021: Report Update With Ryan Riese, National Agriculture Director at RBC

On March 1, 2021, Jacqueline Keena, EMILI’s Managing Director, sat down with Ryan Riese, RBC’s National Agriculture Director, to discuss skills, talent, and training in the agri-food industry in a follow-up interview to the Farmer 4.0 Report, released in August 2019. In this interview, Riese explained the importance of bridging academia and industry through work-integrated learning (WIL) programs. He highlighted that WIL opportunities provide students with “an environment to put their learning into action and spend time developing an understanding of what aspects of the industry they enjoy and can see themselves doing.” The agri-food industry requires specialized skills that students have. Therefore, as an industry, we have a responsibility to ensure that “if students are spending the time and energy to learn the skill sets, there is a home for them, that the industry is an attractive choice and they are aware of the opportunities.” Agriculture is a dynamic industry that requires a workforce equipped with “problem solvers and complex thinkers” that are willing to adapt and learn to overcome the challenges necessary to seize the global market opportunities afforded to Canada. Click here to read the complete interview with Ryan Riese.

We encourage you to join the EMILI ecosystem here to stay updated on our latest activities and announcements!

       Article by EMILI