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Innovation Sask to invest over $1M in agricultural tech companies

Startups from across the province are aiming to make Saskatchewan a more tech-friendly place, with help from Innovation Sask.

Tech companies whose products can help the province’s core industries, such as agriculture, will receive funding for research and development.

Four companies will be receiving this round of funding, totalling a million dollars.

One of those is Environmental Material Science, which will be receiving almost $380,000 to develop a soil sensor.

“It measures nitrogen, carbon, temperature, soil moisture and it’s all wireless. It goes through the cloud and directly to our servers,” said Steven Mamet, science and data director for the company.

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The sensor aims to help farmers get real-time feedback on the status of their fields, aiming to help lower costs and emissions.

“What we want to do is give them a tool, an easily usable, cheap tool that they can use to optimize their operations,” Mamet said.

The funding will be put towards the project’s broader trials, with hundreds of sensors planned to be deployed across the prairies as early as the summer.

“It’s not just important, it’s absolutely essential to the growth and vitality of our province and where we hold our position on the world stage,” said Tom Boehm, president and CEO of Rayhawk Technologies, a former recipient company of the funding.

The funding is helping Rayhawk develop technology built to autonomously open and close granular-filled railcar lids, emphasizing safety and efficiency in both agriculture and transportation.

Boehm said additional capital can make a difference in pursuing new projects.

“You’ve got that much more power, you feel a lot more confident in what you can do with that money and where you can go with your technology,” Boehm said.

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