This project has been prepared by Swine Innovation Pork (SIP) as an answer to the call for projects proposed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Reader needs to understand that only a small number of project will be financed. Time line:
Stream 4: Automation and digital technologies in the agriculture and agri-food sector
For more details see here.
“On farm automatization of working processes to increase the work efficiency at the farm and sector level to produce better pork”.
Canadian pork production is a world-leading industry focused on commodity markets. It is a highly export-dependent and growing industry, with 70% of its pork being exported at a value of $4 billion in 2017, almost double the value of exports 10 years earlier. Canada’s current primary markets are the United States, Japan and China and we must ensure every effort is put in place to preserve these markets and develop new ones in a globally competitive marketplace. Canadian pork producers understand that automation of many working processes at the farm level and beyond is required to maintain competitiveness of Canadian pork production. Many companies have already taken the lead to develop systems to undertake different tasks at the animal and the farm level. These systems are producing a large quantity of data but often with limited use. There is great potential for this data to be used for multiple purposes if there was a recognized working process to standardize and share the data between partners, as well as enable the development of correlations, algorithms and artificial intelligence systems. Such a process would be a catalyst for companies to provide the industry with tools to better manage and troubleshoot all areas of pork production. It would also enable collaboration and data sharing between producers and their partners (ex: slaughter plants, feed mills, other services) to improve the global working processes of the Canadian Pork Industry. Development of any one of these specialized tools requires specialized knowledge and practical skills. The farmers are expecting integrated systems to answer most of their daily activity requirements. Unfortunately, the current innovation process is not efficient for the farmer and the whole Canadian pork production sector because there is limited sharing of expertise and/or data between systems. The partners of this proposal believe that establishing a network of people and expertise focused on creating, sharing and using data for the benefits of pork production is the way to accelerate automation and technology utilization from the farm to the fork.
The goal of this network would be to set the rules and create a data processing and sharing hub or hubs specialized in data collection and management to prepare clean data to be shared for use by the people who have the expertise in the development of new tools using artificial intelligence. Access to large volumes of good quality data is the major limitation for technological innovations. In part it is a reluctance to share data (social and economic reasons) and in part technical (lack of standards and data integrity). This network will address both of these aspects so that when the willingness is there, good quality data can be put into the hands of the developers. To meet this main goal, the proposed network will be structured in three parts:
This network will certainly strengthen the Canadian supply chain, lead to development and implementation of new products, processes, standards and services; as well as support the scaling of high-potential and disruptive approaches. Furthermore, we believe that this network will provide technologies that will be adaptable for use in other sectors.