Manitoba 310-400 Fort Whyte Way, Oak Bluff, MB

EMILI Data Initiative

EMILI Data Initiative

The EMILI Data Initiative is a program of applied research and data literacy programming that is designed to encourage collaboration between organizations across the agri-food value chain.

Our goal is to build the capacity of the Canadian agriculture and food sector to use data and data-intensive technologies in a responsible manner that benefits all value chain participants.

EMILI is excited to lead this foundational project that will build a culture of data governance and sustain trust in data and digital tools used throughout the agri-food sector.

EMILI would also like to recognize the co-investment made by Protein Industries Canada through its Capacity Building Program.
Project Microsite

A project microsite will be launched in Fall 2021 to provide project updates going forward.


Dan Lussier
Project Manager, Agri-Food Data

Areas of Activity

Technology Demonstration

Pre-competitive technology demonstration project designed to foster hands-on collaboration to identify gaps in the current data ecosystem and data management practices.  

We will bring together a small group of grain and oilseed producers and their customers (e.g. grain buyers, ingredient manufacturers, etc.) to investigate the challenges that arise when trying to measure environmental performance using data gathered on-farm by precision agriculture equipment.   

The outcome from the tech demo project will be a series of case studies and lessons learned reports to help others considering their own data-driven technology project or product.

Policy and Practices

Collaborative research projects designed to strengthen the capacity of the agri-food sector to respond to gaps in foundational knowledge and the evolving public policy environment related to data-intensive technologies.  

We have selected two initial topics for policy and practices research:

  • Legal Landscape for Canadian Agri-Food Data: What are the important legal questions that impact the use of data in Canadian agriculture and food?
  • Interoperability and Standards:  What approaches to data standards and interoperability are currently present in the Canadian marketplace? What organizations are active in defining standardization and driving interoperability? 

Project teams of subject matter experts from non-profit organizations, universities, colleges, public and private sector organizations will work together to produce landmark reports that serve as useful reference points for the agri-food sector.

Data Literacy

Training programs designed to provide people working in the agriculture and food sector with accurate and up to date information related to data management and governance practices.  

As a first step, introductory courses will be developed for producers and for technologists new to the agriculture sector.  The first version of these introductory data literacy courses will be available in Winter 2021-22.

Training course content will be developed through a collaborative process with partners from post-secondary institutions and other non-profit organizations. 

In parallel, EMILI will also undertake a consultation program to engage key stakeholders and ensure we understand the sector’s priorities and data literacy needs.

Advisory Working Group

To support the success of the project we have invited a diverse group of representatives from across the value chain to provide project oversight and recommendations on the future direction of the EMILI Data Initiative.   

Three stocktaking meetings of the advisory working group are planned per year.

Project Participants


EMILI is interested in engaging additional organizations in the EMILI Data Initiative.  Please reach out to discuss any of the four areas of activity described above.