Nexus Robotics advances its automated weeding technology
Funding will help commercialize technology that addresses major challenges faced by farmers
September 9, 2020 - Halifax, Nova Scotia – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Agriculture is one of Atlantic Canada’s biggest exports and sources of economic activity; however, today’s farmers face significant challenges getting their products to market. Labour shortages, pesticides and global warming have all changed the way agricultural products are grown, harvested and distributed to consumers. To help facilitate the search for better solutions, the Government of Canada is supporting businesses that are finding creative ways for farmers to more easily grow and harvest their crops.
Federal government supports tool for farmers to become more efficient, help environment and save money
Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced a total Government of Canada investment of $550,000 to Nexus Robotics Inc. of Halifax.
The company has developed an autonomous weeding robot capable of weeding farmers’ fields 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since the robot can accurately weed all day without harming crops, it eliminates the need to use harmful pesticides or migrant labour to get rid of unwanted plants. This helps to improve efficiency, saves money and decreases the farms environmental footprint.
This investment, provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, will enable the company to hire expertise and undertake field trials. Nexus Robotics will also conduct additional research and product development, manufacturing design work, and develop a marketing and sales plan to bring its robotic weeding technology to market.
Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadian businesses – helping them not just survive, but thrive. Initiatives like these will help ensure that small-to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can play a critical role in Canada’s economic recovery.
“SMEs play a major role in Atlantic Canada’s economy, supporting thousands of good jobs and creating opportunities across the region. This important investment from ACOA will help Nexus Robotics Inc. commercialize its weeding technology, which will positively impact farmers’ bottom line, while helping to protect the environment. Investing in innovative companies like this one is one way the Government of Canada is helping Atlantic Canada’s economy come back strong.”
-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“Nexus Robotics Inc. is using modern technology to change a traditional industry for the better. By integrating advanced manufacturing and robotics into the weeding process, farmers can allocate their human resources towards more meaningful jobs and tend to their crops more efficiently. The Government of Canada is proud to support Nexus Robotics as it works to commercialize its autonomous weeding product.”
- Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax
“The Nexus Robotics team is very appreciative to receive funding from ACOA to support our second field trial as well as hire a CEO with decades of business experience. This funding will accelerate growth of the company and allow farmers to see the benefits of this technology sooner.”
- Teric Greenan, Chief Operating Officer, Nexus Robotics Inc
Weed management costs vegetable farmers in North America approximately $300 to $1,200 per acre, with hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on weed management per year.
In total, weeding costs North American farmers approximately $1.5 billion each year.
ACOA is providing a repayable contribution of $500,000 to support trials, product design and the commercialization of the robotic technology.
ACOA is also providing a non-repayable contribution of $50,000 non-repayable to support the hiring of a Chief Executive Officer to develop and implement financial and business procedures.
The funding is provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which helps businesses adopt innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity and competitiveness.
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Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Founder & COO
Nexus Robotics Inc.
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