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Olds College signs ag, food research deal

In total, seven colleges and polytechnics in the province have agreed to work together to advance agriculture and food research
MVT Research deal OC Smart Farm
Shabeg Briar, left, and Paul Tiege examine crops for plant health at the Olds College Smart Farm. Submitted photo

OLDS — Olds College, along with six other colleges and polytechnics in the province have agreed to work together to advance agriculture and food research in Alberta. 

In addition to Olds College, the partners are Grande Prairie Regional College, Lakeland College, Lethbridge College, Medicine Hat College, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).

They’ve all signed an agreement to work together to enhance agriculture and food research through the sharing of data, expertise and research capabilities, while supporting the evolution of policy and advocating for the industry. 

Each of the institutions bring to the table their own applied research specialties in agriculture, technology, and environment. Working together they will be able to support the agriculture industry through collaborative applied research.

The collaborative declaration provides a framework for the signatories to identify joint research opportunities, support consistent and competitive fee structures for agriculture and food related applied research services, facilitate work-integrated learning opportunities for students, and to collectively share data and results.

“Individually Alberta’s colleges and polytechnics play a critical role in supporting agriculture and food research. Collectively our impact is even greater,” Olds College president Stuart Cullum said in a news release.

“In 2020, Alberta’s agri-food sector was a $56 billion industry and is the largest employer in Alberta. It will continue to be a foundational industry for our region’s economic success. 

“And while our institutions are already doing much to collaborate in support of its growth and prosperity, this declaration further solidifies our intent to work in an integrated fashion.”