Lethbridge College receives funding for agriculture technology centre
By Top Crop Manager
In mid-May, Lethbridge College in Alberta received one of the most significant applied research grants in the college’s history. The college was awarded one of the six new Technology Access Centres (TAC) across Canada by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
The $1.75 million five-year renewable grant will be used to create the Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre (IATC), which will help farmers, growers and food processors across the country tap into the latest research and recognized expertise at the college.
“This announcement signifies to Canada’s agriculture industry that we are here to support their needs and find solutions to the challenges they face,” says Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO. “The Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre will help to drive forward one of the country’s most important industries and provide a boost to the provincial economy.”
The IATC will offer clients from across the agriculture industry – including large and small-scale crop producers, greenhouse growers, aquaculture operations, food processors, and ag-tech companies – access to applied research and development, technical services and consulting, and training and education, with a focus on the college’s core research areas of aquaculture, crop production and wet processing.
The IATC will operate within the college’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation and is part of a network of 60 TACs nationwide through Tech-Access Canada, each serving a specific geographic area with a focus on strengthening a regional sector of significance.
“The ability to support local agriculture enterprises and help them grow and scale represents a huge opportunity for the college and community, especially at a time of great uncertainty and change in the Canadian and global economy,” says Megan Shapka, manager of the IATC. “As part of the established network of TACs, we will share best practices and foster collaborations with industry, government, and other postsecondary institutions across Canada and help drive economic growth by providing local, accessible, and affordable research and development services.”