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Ottawa drives agricultural innovation with first-of-its-kind smart farm

Just outside of Ottawa, Canada’s capital, you’ll find vast areas of rural land, making agriculture a vital part of the economy. But traditional agriculture isn’t the only space that the city thrives in: it’s also taking the lead in embracing emerging technologies that have the power to transform food production. 


Ottawa’s smart farm 

Recently, Invest Ottawa and the City of Ottawa launched a Smart Farm at Area X.O, a futureplex of innovation and collaboration. An agri-tech innovation playground, the Ottawa Smart Farm consists of two working fields, several demonstration fields and approximately 100-acres of land that allow farmers and agri-food companies to drive innovation in the sector.  

The Smart Farm provides access to cutting-edge technologies, including autonomous systems, sensors, big data and robotics — not to mention one of the most advanced, integrated communications test infrastructures in the world. This is enabling experts and companies to drive greater efficiency, produce healthier crops, increase yields and ensure more sustainable growing practices. 

“Leveraging our world-class technology, data analytics and communications infrastructure, the Ottawa Smart Farm enables researchers and firms to collaborate productively and impactfully with others around the world. Our goal is to unlock new global R&D opportunities for ag-tech innovators in the capital and across the country.”

Kelly Daize, director of CAV Programs at Area X.O

Only in Ottawa 

With deep technology and agricultural expertise, Ottawa is uniquely positioned to address the challenges facing the agriculture sector. The city is home to a diverse technology hub that's filled with the brightest minds. In fact, Ottawa has the highest concentration of tech talent in the nation and more engineers, scientists and PhDs per capita than any other city in Canada. 

Ottawa is also the only large city in Canada with a substantial agriculture sector, with more than 1,000 farms inside the city boundary and 5,700 hectares of agricultural resource lands. Some 10,000 jobs in the city are related to agriculture. 


A place to meet  

This leadership makes Ottawa, including Area X.O, an attractive host destination for domestic and global agriculture business meetings and events of all sizes. With a large talent pool, deep expertise and strong infrastructure, it’s easy for event organizers to find expert speakers and educational experiences that create truly enriching business events. 


Meetings with purpose  

By augmenting speakers’ series with passionate industry innovators and enriching programming with localized tours, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues and inspire future generations.   

“We call that 'meeting with purpose’,” says Stephanie Seguin of Ottawa Tourism, pointing out that Ottawa is poised to show off its agriculture ecosystems and industry leaders driving new advancements in the sector.    


Easy to access 

Ottawa is easily accessible for delegates around the world. Ottawa International Airport provides direct flights from all major Canadian cities, major US hubs, as well as London and Frankfurt. The airport is a 15-minute drive to downtown — and will soon be connected to the city via light rail transit.  

In addition, Ottawa is home to several state-of-the-art convention venues for larger gatherings, including the Shaw Centre that’s within walking distance of over 6,000 hotel rooms. Between keynotes and workshops, delegates can take in the city’s award-winning cultural attractions and beautiful natural sites like the Rideau Canal in its pedestrian-friendly downtown core. 

Plan your meeting in Ottawa HERE.