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Agreement will promote ag innovation

Foundation being laid for expedited technology commercialization
web ag smart-8
Attendees tour around the Dot robotic platform during Olds College and Agri-Trade's Ag Smart event held in August. The college has recently developed another partnership, this time with Zone Startups Calgary. File photo

OLDS - Olds College has signed a memorandum of understanding with Zone Startups Calgary to support early stage agriculture technology companies through the use of school’s Smart Farm, officials said.

According to the company’s website, Zone Startups Calgary provides “hands-on strategic and tactical guidance for startups looking to drive market validation and customer acquisition, as well as access to investors, corporate partners and advisors” and offers an “innovative consulting practices that lets corporate clients explore new ideas and technologies.”

Jason Bradley is the director of Smart Agriculture at Olds College.

“Zone Startups is a natural partner for Olds College,” Bradley said in a release. “Their innovation mandate and commitment to supporting the development of early stage companies strongly aligns with the Olds College Smart Farm and our purpose of creating a place for innovation, validation, demonstration and scaling of agriculture technology through industry partnerships.”

The Smart Farm gives companies an opportunity to test agriculture products and technologies in an actual farm environment on the college’s campus.

“It is creating a cutting-edge learning environment for students and life-long learners, and is committed to evolving the agriculture industry through ag technology applied research,” he said.

Joe Martini, director of Zone Startups Calgary, said in the release that: “Olds College is a leader in Smart Farm technology and Zone looks forward to introducing its AgTech portfolio companies to pilot test and validate their technologies at Olds College Smart Farm as well as providing technology companies currently collaborating with Olds College Smart Farm with commercialization programming and support.

“The Olds College/Zone Startups collaboration will make a meaningful impact on the AgTech community and lay a foundation for expedited technology commercialization.”

Asked if the new agreement has a financial component, Blayne Meek, director of corporate communications and marketing at Olds College, told the Gazette: “With this memorandum of understanding there is no financial contribution. It is an agreement to work together as partners.”