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  • Writer's pictureLenora Thomas

FIRST Jobs Program - Company Showcase - Week Two

Technology Alberta, Alberta’s industry association for growing entrepreneurial advanced technology companies, has just launched the ‘Technology Alberta FIRST (First Industry Research Science and Technology companies) Job Program. Supported by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) – this program is designed to match 50 Alberta Technology companies with local Alberta Post-Secondary educated Youth (ages 29 and under) Talent. Youth participants are from across the province, ranging from business students to machine learning graduates.

The Technology Alberta FIRST Jobs Program has multiple goals including keeping Talent in Alberta to grow the amazing companies in the Alberta Tech Sector. Alberta’s universities and technical institutes are producing outstanding grads and we want to keep them in this province… but they need to know about the companies that exist here and be excited about the technology being created here.

Which is why each week over the next three months we will be showcasing the companies that are taking part in this program. This way, not only are these 50 Young Professionals being introduced to these cool companies - but so is the wider Alberta community.

This week our showcase is focused on technology solutions for Agri-Food Technology:

Future Fields is on the leading edge of development with cellular agriculture. If you are not familiar with cellular agriculture, it is the process of utilizing cells or microorganisms to create agricultural products such as milk or meat. Combining genetics, tissue engineering, synthetic biology and medicine, the team is working to engineer cells to create new products that are indistinguishable from traditional agricultural products. For instance, having milk or meat that doesn’t require the use of animals, livestock or farmland.

Future Fields has a vision to feed the world through cellular agriculture to help address the growing challenges that we face with climate change, resource depletion and food insecurity. By creating affordable, high quality and customized growth media, consumers will have more choice for food production in our rapidly changing world.

Raft Beer Labs helps bring big brewing science to small breweries. For small breweries, it’s all about the beer recipe and quality for their customers. The ability to monitor each batch is an important part of the process as small brewers may not have access to their own labs, or the level of automation that larger breweries have.

Raft Beer Labs uses cutting edge equipment and the latest methodologies to guide small brewers on understanding their chemistry and microbiology. Brewers are able to submit samples for timely analysis at any stage in the process to ensure that products are consistent to the recipe, and that quality is met.

TrustBIX has built a platform that addresses evolving consumer demand to understand how food is produced and where it is sourced. Consumers increasingly are looking to have a better understanding of the supply chain as it relates to what they are eating to ensure that it is sustainable and ethical. On top of that consumers are looking to ensure that the marketing matches the reality for products, and premium prices match to the claims.

TrustBIX uses their platform to track the chain of custody integrity of food production from Gate to Plate®. For instance, if you are in a grocery store or a restaurant, and see the sign 100% Canadian Beef, how do you know that this actually the case? In one of their pilots, TrustBIX was able to verify full traceability from birth to burger.

Verge Ag uses geospatial software to help farmers optimize the movement of machinery on the farm. Farmers spend hours in the cockpit of their tractors and combines, and the goal of Verge Ag’s Path Planning is to help make the most of those hours. With their platform, growers can upload their fields layout (including geolocation, elevation and obstructions) and create an optimal path for farming. This allows testing of changes to path directions, and tweaking the path to reduce the time spent during planting. Beyond this, they can share path plans with the machinery allowing for guidance in the field.

Farm operators are increasingly adopting auto steering and high precision guidance systems to follow parallel straight or curved paths, but Verge Ag helps address irregularities and obstructions in the field. This in turn allows farmers to limit cost impact of over seeding areas, limits additional time travelled and helps avoid soil compaction and erosion.

Missed Week One? Check it out!

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