Canada’s Bell partners with academia to launch IoT initiative
The new program will enable students to develop IoT applications for agriculture and food services
Canadian telco Bell MTS has announced a 500,000 Canadian dollars ($371,000) contribution to the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign to launch the Bell MTS Innovations in Agriculture Program, which is geared toward IoT smart farming initiatives.
This new program will provide students at the University of Manitoba with opportunities to develop internet of things (IoT) technologies for application in agriculture and food services.
“We’re very pleased to work with the University of Manitoba to create this opportunity for students and faculty to develop new and better IoT solutions for a sector that is a mainstay of Manitoba’s economy and important to all Canadians,” said Stephen Howe, Bell’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President.
The telco said that IoT applications can help improve the production of food resources through managing the location and performance of farm machinery, remote analysis of soil samples, field conditions, seeding rate and crop health, and monitoring of storage and processing operations.
“Working on IoT solutions within the agriculture, food and nutrition sectors not only offers our students a unique skills development opportunity that will support their future career opportunities, it is critical to the advancement of our agriculture and food economy,” said Karin Wittenberg, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.
Agriculture plays a key role in Manitoba’s economy. Agricultural production represents an estimated 5%of Manitoba’s GDP and the sector accounts for an estimated 33,000 jobs in the province.
Bell invests almost 4 billion Canadian dollars ($2.97 billion) every year in network infrastructure expansion and research and development. In 2016, Bell partnered with Finnish vendor Nokia on the first Canadian trial of 5G wireless technology, and in April announced the first LTE wireless network in North America capable of delivering Quad Band LTE Advanced (LTE-A) service, offering customers access to mobile data speeds of up to 750 Megabits per second.