Supercluster funding supports world first end-to-end robotic harvesting platform
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced almost $4.2 million in collaborative funding for a multi-partner project, led by Mycionics, that will deploy advanced robotic solutions to revolutionize the mushroom harvesting processes.
Mycionics, in partnership with Whitecrest Mushrooms Ltd. and Piccioni Brothers Mushroom Farm Ltd. will deploy and demonstrate the commercial viability of the Mycionics robotic harvesting system. The Mycionics system will fully automate mushroom harvesting using novel advanced robotics and automation. The entire harvesting process will be optimized through the application of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Mycionics will be the first company in the world to successfully automate the end-to-end mushroom harvesting process for the fresh market.
“This is exactly the type of project we aim to support through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Leading-edge Canadian companies like Mycionics promote Canadian solutions to global problems. This project pushes technological boundaries, develops advanced manufacturing and creates good jobs for Canadians while exporting groundbreaking technology to the world.”
As a complete system, Mycionics robotic harvester will increase the yield of a growing room through a “smart graze harvesting” strategy, picking over a 24-hour period and allowing the system to pick each mushroom at the optimal time instead of being restricted to harvesting only during normal working hours. Additionally, the ability to harvest robotically and the use of data analytics will increase food safety, traceability and disease detection.
As Mycionics grows and develops as a company, they will create numerous high-tech jobs in rural communities in Canada and around the world. The company is poised to see significant growth as they begin servicing farms throughout North America and Europe.
“This project serves to highlight exactly what NGen hopes to achieve through its supercluster project funding,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “The Mycionics project brings together multiple partners from different sectors of the economy to develop and build a world class advanced manufacturing solution. In the process, Mycionics will create jobs, establish a Canadian supply chain for machine parts and assembly, help build out the entire advanced manufacturing ecosystem, and have a lasting and positive impact on Canadians and the economy.”
“Our partnership with NGen will accelerate commercialization of Mycionics patented robotic mushroom harvesting to solve the increasing labour shortage affecting mushroom farms globally. Mycionics robotics were designed to simply integrate with existing mushroom farm infrastructure commonly used throughout the world.” Michael Curry, CEO, Mycionics.
This is one of many projects funded by NGen through Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative. NGen is investing $192 million of Supercluster funding and is aiming to leverage at least another $358 million of industry investments in collaborative industry-led projects before the end of March 2023 to facilitate collaboration and accelerate the implementation, scale-up, and commercialization of advanced technologies for manufacturing in Canada.
About NGen - Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
NGen is the industry-led not-for-profit organization that leads Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. Its mandate is to help build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. NGen works to strengthen collaboration among its membership of more than 3,500 manufacturers, technology companies, innovation centres, and researchers, and provides funding and business support to industry-led initiatives that aim to develop, apply, or scale-up transformative manufacturing solutions in Canada for commercialization in global markets.
Mycionics is dedicated to empowering mushroom farmers through the use of our robotic harvesting system that performs the labour-intensive work of harvesting mushrooms for the fresh market. Our solution provides mushroom farms of any size with a competitive edge against the global labour shortage afflicting the industry.
Mycionics’ globally patented robotic harvesting system continually picks, packs, and weighs mushrooms that meet fresh market quality and size requirements. Based on the farmer’s harvesting requirements, such as desired mushroom sizes, stem length, quality, harvesting schedule, and more, our mobile robotic harvester scans the mushroom beds, picks the desired mushrooms, trims the stems, and intelligently packs the mushrooms into boxes where they can be retrieved by the farm operators. In addition to our system’s harvesting capabilities, the data collection provides valuable insight into the farms existing growing and harvesting metrics, leading to better agronomic, commercial, and operational solutions for the farm.
Source: Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen)