Benjamin Feagin, owner of Agri Tech North vertical farm in Dryden, says their second-place recognition in Bioenterprise Canada’s Northern Ontario Innovation Challenge is beneficial by putting Northwestern talent in the spotlight.

“While it’s painful to see that there’s no funding awarded at the second and third level of the innovation challenge, the reputation that it has afforded us alone is still helpful, and it helps us in the long term,” Feagin said. “But yeah, we were really hoping for that first place.”

The first-place prize of $5,000 was awarded to BioNorth Solutions of Thunder Bay, while TECC Agriculture Ltd., a precision agriculture company in New Liskeard, rounded out the top three.

Feagin says Northwestern Ontario is often seen as a territory in which innovation doesn’t happen, while southern Ontario Innovation projects receive vital provincial, federal and municipal funding.

“Being able to feature the innovations that are occurring in Northwestern Ontario provides significant value to changing the discourse around what’s happening up here and what we have to contribute to a multitude of different industries,” Feagin said.

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