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CAN (ON): University announces research partnership with regional greenhouse operation

The University of Windsor announced a local partnership to advance agricultural research, development, and innovation in the Windsor-Essex region during the Canadian Greenhouse Conference (CGC).

The University of Windsor and Horteca, a joint venture of JEM Farms and Ecoation, will establish and operate a two-acre fully operational innovation greenhouse for research, proof-of-concept designs, and partnership opportunities with industry and community partners.

Under the banner Agriculture at UWindsor (AgUWin), the space will provide access to a prime growing and technical environment for researchers and industry, with the ability to field test the deployment of upcoming technologies in a cost-effective, secure, and safe environment. 

Chris Houser, UWindsor’s Interim Vice-President, Research & Innovation, says the partnership will increase UWindsor’s ability to provide hands-on student learning experiences in such areas as growing conditions, sensors, biologics, data & AI, autonomy and robotics, security, sustainability, supply chain, and Indigenous partnerships. New programming will be developed to support talent development and leadership in the agriculture and greenhouse sectors.

Outside of the Netherlands, Windsor-Essex is home to the largest number of greenhouses in the world.

Saber Miresmailli, PhD, founded,r and CEO of Ecoation, says controlled environment agriculture is the answer to a growing world population and climate change-induced limitations that negatively affect the food supply chain.

“Through this partnership with the University of Windsor, the country’s best minds are getting together in HORTECA to solve yet another major issue that impacts humanity as a whole --clean, sustainable, and nutritious food production.”  

Houser says the CGC Conference will give representatives from AgUWin an opportunity to network extensively with major greenhouse growers and suppliers to focus on the region’s reputation and opportunities within the growing greenhouse sector. 

“We look forward to showcasing the expertise, talent, and infrastructure that is available to support this new initiative and to provide a unique and compelling hands-on learning experience for students. The University is well positioned to support the advancement of new technology and greenhouse innovations, and the Windsor-Essex region is exceptionally well aligned to support greenhouse growers and global industry leaders in advancing these new and exciting technologies.”

Houser says companies interested in partnering on initiatives with the University of Windsor and Horteca can reach out to: [email protected] 

For more information:
University of Windsor
Tom Schnekenburger
Data & Mobility Science Project Manager University of Windsor 
519-253-3000 ext. 3959 
[email protected]

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