5G technology partnership between industry and academia will optimize greenhouse operations
Windsor, ON - The University of Windsor’s “Agriculture UWindsor” initiative, in collaboration with global communications technology company, TELUS, and the Horticultural Technology Center & Academy (HORTECA) in Southwestern Ontario, have announced a joint research agreement to explore the efficacy and economics of wireless networks in a fully operational greenhouse facility.
The study, funded with support from the Greenhouse Technology Network, aims to uncover the benefits and challenges of using wireless networks in commercial greenhouse environments. The Smart Greenhouse market, including the automation and data collection of everything including lights, environmental controls and packaging systems, is expected to boom from $1.6B USD in 2022 to $2.9B USD by 2027.
As part of the project, researchers will conduct experiments to assess wireless network performance and equipment in various real-life scenarios, including variations in humidity levels and plant density, to support the further development of advanced technologies, automation and data systems needed to operate a modern greenhouse.
The research will be conducted at HORTECA's cutting-edge greenhouse facility in Kingsville, Ontario, and will be supported with TELUS’ latest 5G wireless network technology. Access to this fully functional, greenhouse facility presents a unique opportunity for researchers to test against real-life scenarios that are not present in traditional lab environments.
"Growers have always adopted technology to grow food more efficiently. Connectivity will enable the move to new systems, data and automation and help make the most of the resources we have,” said Dr. Rashid Rashidzadeh, principal researcher behind the study from the University of Windsor.
Agriculture UWindsor launched in October 2022 with the announcement of a partnership with HORTECA to operationalize the two-acre facility to bring research from the classroom and lab into the real world. The University initiative is built around supporting the Windsor/Essex agriculture industry with collaborative applied research programs and learning opportunities.
"We're excited to be working with TELUS and Agriculture UWindsor on this important research initiative," said Paul J. Mastronardi, Managing Director at HORTECA. "The potential benefits of wireless networks in greenhouse operations are significant, and we look forward to exploring this technology further."
The joint research agreement, funded by the partners and the Greenhouse Technology Network, represents a significant step forward in the development of wireless network technology for greenhouse facilities. The results of the study will be published in peer-reviewed journals and shared with industry partners to encourage further research and development in this field.
About University of Windsor
The University of Windsor is a comprehensive research institution located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. With a focus on interdisciplinary research and community engagement, the university is committed to creating positive change in the world. In 2022, the University launched Agriculture UWindsor (AgUWin) to support research and education in a fast growing, technologically dynamic agriculture industry in Windsor Essex, home of 4500 acres of greenhouses growing fruits and vegetables.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with more than $18 billion in annual revenue and 18 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Our social purpose is to leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to drive social change and enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. The numerous, sustained accolades TELUS has earned over the years from independent, industry-leading network insight firms showcase the strength and speed of TELUS’ global-leading networks, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better.
Operating in 30 countries around the world, TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that designs, builds, and delivers next-generation solutions, including AI and content moderation, for global and disruptive brands across high-growth industry verticals, including tech and games, communications and media and eCommerce and fintech.
TELUS Health is a global health care leader, which provides employee and family preventative health care and wellness solutions. Our TELUS team, along with our 100,000 health professionals, are leveraging the combination of TELUS’ strong digital and data analytics capabilities with our unsurpassed client service to dramatically improve remedial, preventative and mental health outcomes covering 68 million lives, and growing, around the world. As the largest provider of digital solutions and digital insights of its kind, TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods enables efficient and sustainable production from seed to store, helping improve the safety and quality of food and other goods in a way that is traceable to end consumers.
Driven by our determination and vision to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS and our team to contribute $1.5 billion, including 2 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.
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HORTECA is a leading horticultural research and education facility in Kingsville, Ontario. The organization is dedicated to advancing the science of horticulture through innovative research, education, and outreach programs.
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