Government of Canada supports growth of the digital agriculture industry in Manitoba

News release

Winnipeg takes another step forward as a global digital agriculture cluster

April 26, 2019 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Manitoba’s agricultural industry is well positioned to seize global market opportunities through the design and adoption of digital technologies. The Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to make that a reality.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced investments totaling  $3,451,167 for two projects to support innovation, skills development, and growth in the digital agriculture industry. The University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) will receive $2,451,167 to work in partnership with Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI) to promote machine learning and grow the digital agriculture industry in Manitoba. JCA Electronics will receive an investment of $1,000,000 to commercialize a tablet-based precision agriculture platform for farm operators to wirelessly manage implements for seeding, planting, and spraying applications.

Through these investments, UWinnipeg, EMILI, and JCA Electronics will become leading experts in digital agriculture, and a new digital tool will be commercialized. It is anticipated that the UWinnipeg project will lead partnerships, both between businesses and with academia, the creation of 180 Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) jobs, training for 100 HQPs, assistance to 165 small- and medium-sized enterprises, and the delivery of training sessions and two conferences to over 400 individuals.

JCA Electronics will see economic benefits that include 25 new HQP jobs, 50 non-HQP jobs, and an estimated $12,300,000 in new incremental sales by December 31, 2022.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.


“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. These two projects will help grow the digital agricultural industry in Manitoba, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

-  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Academic institutions like the University of Winnipeg, and companies like JCA Electronics are developing and delivering high tech, digital tools, and technologies that will better equip Canadians farmers as global leaders in the international ag-marketplace.”

- The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre

“This exciting project is an excellent example of how UWinnipeg researchers are making an impact. This partnership will result in enhanced productivity and will create new opportunities for growth.”

- Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Winnipeg

“JCA Electronics is pleased to have the support of the WINN program to speed up our efforts at developing a platform for precision ag technology that adapts agriculture machine controls to advances in the latest technologies driven from other markets. This leverages rapid advancements in technologies such as tablets and smartphones, cloud-connectivity and IoT, and data analytics and mapping to offer increased value to agricultural producers through optimized machine controls. This provides a platform that offers value in today’s applications, while providing a bridge to increased technology adoption on a road towards autonomous agricultural machines.”

- John C. Anderson, President, JCA Electronics

Associated links


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Isabella Brisson-Urdaneta
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaTrade
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Nathalie Leroux
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Kevin Rosen
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
The University of Winnipeg
John C. Anderson
JCA Electronics
204 292 0550 (direct)
204 415 1104 ext. 210 (office)

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