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Canada is a trusted source of food. Canadian agriculture and agri-food is recognized worldwide for its safe and high quality production and processing, supporting trade and exports. Agriculture is a GDP growth star. EMILI offers the opportunity to accelerate this growth through motivating corporations to identify, invest in and partner with AI and machine learning expertise to improve their productivity, and lead global food production, processing and marketing in the 21st century
Canada is a trusted source of food. Canadian agriculture and agri-food is recognized worldwide for its safe and high quality production and processing, supporting trade and exports. Agriculture is a GDP growth star. EMILI offers the opportunity to accelerate this growth through motivating corporations to identify, invest in and partner with AI and machine learning expertise to improve their productivity, and lead global food production, processing and marketing in the 21st century.
Most Advanced Agricultural Economy in the World
EMILI’s vision is bold and ambitious. It is to leverage Canada’s industrial strengths in AI and agriculture to develop the most advanced agricultural economy in the world through: 1) transforming the legacy agfood sectors with new AI embedded (self-learning) technologies; 2) development of a new industry around Ag-AI technology (in which the ownership of IP and the means of productivity is a key industrial asset of the future); and 3) supporting the training (and retraining) of the middle class to capture the new AI and data-driven jobs of the 21 century.
Pan-Canadian - Broad Ag. Sector Focus
EMILI’s regional focus is western Canada, with pan-Canadian impact. AI technologies and tools developed in one corner of the agricultural economy will have application for accelerating productivity and competitiveness in other areas. EMILI is a broad sector initiative. It supports best in class commercial activities that deliver impact for Canada vertically (from genetics to consumer health), horizontally (canola, pulse, livestock, horticulture, aquaculture, beef, dairy etc.) and across the innovation continuum (with the focus on commercialization to market readiness).
Commercially-Designed Co-Investment Model
EMILI has a commercially-designed co-investment plan to drive $521 million ++ , including private sector investments, to transform the sector -ensure AI is a core part of the country's agricultural sector DNA - and create wealth and jobs for the future. Additionally, EMILI has been designed to interlock with with the NRC’s new advanced manufacturing centre for Winnipeg, the Pan Canadian AI Strategy (co-ordinated by CIFAR), the Advanced Manufacturing supercluster plan (anchored in Waterloo) and many other innovation initiatives across Canada. Food and beverages processing industry is the largest of all manufacturing industries in Canada; accounting for over 17 per cent of manufacturing jobs.
Commercialization Through Matching Dollars
EMILI will match private sector investments (up to 50 cents on the dollar) to accelerate AI uptake among agricultural firms and enterprises in Canada, firm/sector productivity, competitiveness, AgFood trade and exports, and formation of venture, M&A funding pools into the sector. To start the ball, EMILI has established a $90M direct investment venture fund (Bison Venture Fund) to take successful AI/ML candidates to market, and to attract further growth capital.
EMILI will leverage its CEO network to rally technology, agriculture, high net worth individuals and capital markets sectors to work together to achieve company growth objectives, expand on current engagement momentum. This includes specially-design AI convening and knowledge exchange platform in which members can interact directly with *EMILI*.
Access to Venture Capital for Growth for Canadian Firms
EMILI has developed a $90M direct investment venture fund to accelerate global market entry and adoption of Canadian AI products and services. The Bison Venture Partners Fund (working title) will be headquartered in Manitoba, with offices in Waterloo, Toronto, and Montreal. The Private sector will invest up to $60 million, with total assets under management (AUM) of $90 million CAD at the first close. A request has been made to the Province to contribute $30M. Opportunity exists for agricultural companies to participate in the Fund. Forecast IRR (to LPs) estimate to be 31 per cent over a 10 year period.
IP Protection and Freedom to Operate
EMILI will provide advisory services and access to intellectual property experts and commercialization giants to build a robust patent Ag-AI portfolio for Canada. In addition to internal resources, EMILI has partnered with Waterloo-Toronto based AiX, to provide access to intellectual property experts to build a robust patent Ag-AI portfolio for Canada. Members will get access to experts on litigation strategy. AiX will build a prior-art library to assess members with defences and provide advice on IP exposure reduction and licensing.
Skills, Training & Capacity Building
EMILI will develop innovative approaches to AI skills development and broadening workforce participation, working with the training and skills development sector across Canada and with a focus on Indigenous peoples, women, and middle class jobs. This includes the retraining of existing employees to use new data-driven AI tools, and training of new talent to support the development of Ag-AI sector growth.
EMILI’s Data Bank
EMILI will support a high-value, trusted agriculture data-use environment which will deliver long term benefits for Canada. This will enable small and large businesses, communities, Indigenous Peoples and government to use agriculture data to innovate, tailor more effective products and services, and inform policy and advice. The partnership will be led by a small, cross-sector working group. Statistics Manitoba and Statistic Canada will provide technical and expert support. In kind support has been offered to establish this.
EMILI will work with Indigenous Peoples on workforce participation issues that might impact its communities and opportunities for the use of AI-ML to provide sustainable business operations. A focus on small land holdings, and use of remote technologies will be a feature of this work.
Stewardship of Land and Resources
Agricultural activities contribute to ten percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, and impact the environment in various ways. EMILI is committed to funding projects that identify novel ways to reduce GHGs and promote Canada as a leading steward of the land.