Our grantees have assembled teams that include producers, farmers, engineers, scientists, and technologists. They are visionaries and innovators, explorers and risk takers. Their stories are a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and dedication in addressing this pressing challenge.
Shepherd Phase Grantees
Supported by grants of up to $1 million, the top 11 grantee teams will develop small-scale, proof-of-concept solutions to generate evidence and learning to be assessed for progression to the Scaling Phase in January 2025.
Spark Phase Grantees
In June, 2022 the top 15 grantees were awarded $50,000 to support development of their concept, build-out of their team and preparation of their full proposal (including technical plan) for the Shepherd Phase.
Growing for the future: delivering an approach that supports continuous berry production in Canada and beyond
Investigators: Habiba Bougherara, PhD & Lesley Campbell, PhD, Ryerson University
Co-applicants/collaborators: AgricUltra Advancements Inc.
Year-round greenhouse production of highbush blueberries
Investigator: Jim Mattson, PhD, Simon Fraser University
Co-applicants/collaborators: BC Blueberry Council, Sky Blue Horticulture Ltd.
Seasonal strawberry optimization: a hybrid approach to addressing seasonal challenges of strawberry production and food security in Canada
Investigator: Mike Dixon, PhD, University of Guelph
Co-applicants/collaborators: Mucci Farms, Mucci International Marketing Inc.
Automation and probiotics for improved strawberry production year-round
Investigator: Trevor Charles, PhD, University of Waterloo
Co-applicants/collaborators: McGill, École de technolgie supérieure (ETS), Vérité, Metagenom Bio Life Science
Innovative technologies for out-of-season production of berries in Canada
Investigator: Yves Desjardins, PhD, Université Laval
Co-applicants/collaborators: Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Fraises de l’lle d’Orléans Inc, Star Produce
Year-round alpine strawberry production in the Yukon
Investigator: Michael Deyholos, PhD, University of British Columbia – Okanagan
Co-applicants/collaborators: OUTFRNT Inc, National Research Council of Canada, Replic8 Technologies Inc
Developing an innovative long cane rasberry production system
Investigator: Tony DiGiovanni, PhD, Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation
Co-applicants/collaborators: Vineland research and Innovation Centre, OMAFRA, Berry Growers of Ontario, Fenwick Berry Farm, First Green Energy, Roxul Inc.
Underground berry farm
Investigator: Marie-Hélène Fillion, PhD, Laurentian University
Co-applicants/collaborators: OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs), SNOLAB, MIRACO (Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation), Windsor Salt Ltd.
Year-round greenhouse 3D berry production
Investigator: Xiuming Hao, PhD, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Co-applicants/collaborators: The Ohio State University
Optimizing small-scale strawberry commercial viability in greenhouse for rural areas
Investigator: Johnny Kashama, Collège Boréal
Co-applicants/collaborators: Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre – Rural Agri-Innovation Network, Smart Indoor Farming Solutions
Innovative, Integrated, Indoor Vertical Production Systems (3I-VPS) for year-round strawberry production
Investigator: Rajasekaran Lada, PhD, Dalhousie University
Co-applicants/collaborators: VerFa Agrifood Innovations Inc, Brilliant Photonics Inc, EtGrow Inc, Fenwick Berry Farm
Automation and autonomy for growing strawberries in greenhouses
Investigator: Medhat Moussa, PhD, University of Guelph
Universal LED program using machine learning for controlled environment strawberry production
Investigator: Yuksel Asli Sari, PhD, Queen’s University
Berry integrated plant production system
Investigator: Praveen Saxena, PhD, University of Guelph
Co-applicants/collaborators: York University, Upper Canada Growers, E.Z. Grow Farms Ltd.
Novel strawberry grow systems: maximizing production yield
Investigator: Megan Shapka, MEd, Lethbridge College
Co-applicants/collaborators: Meteor Systems, Sunterra Greenhouse