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Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network

Developing New Agriculture Technology in Central Alberta

The rural community endures a delicate balance between the climate, economic outlook, profitability, and renewable resources. There is a constant drive to ensure sustainable growth and resilience is possible. Developments in agriculture technology and products are happening every day with the assistance of the Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI).

What is the Old College Centre for Innovation?

Since 1999, the OCCI has been at the forefront of applied research to enhance innovation in agriculture, horticulture, land and environment management sectors. Collaborating with various government agencies, Campus Alberta members, and institutions in Alberta, Canada, and worldwide, the OCCI brings leading-edge research and services to industry partners on a fee-for-service basis.

Entrepreneurs, ag-businesses, and ag-tech companies looking for solutions to start or expand their operations in Central Alberta can utilize the powerful resources and expertise of the OCCI to bring their concept into reality.

The OCCI's goal is to advance innovation-based rural economic development in Alberta.

What Areas Does the OCCI Focus On?

The OCCI focuses on several key areas for rural economic development in Alberta based on student learning, industry partnerships, government investment, and the expertise and world-class facilities offered at Olds College.

They include:

What Services Does the OCCI Provide?

The OCCI provides state-of-the-art research services and facilities to assist clients and industry partners on a fee-for-service basis. It also helps them capitalize on funding opportunities through various agencies and resources throughout Alberta and Canada.

Services include:

  • Applied research

  • Product & process development

  • Analytical testing

  • Technology verification & demonstration

  • Training services

  • Consulting services

  • Access to facilities, lab space, field plots, and incubator space

Does the OCCI Provide Training?

An expansive network of OCCI agencies helps connect businesses in the start-up phase, looking to expand or pivot in their industry regardless of where they are in the process. The OCCI team of experts, students, instructors, and scientists works with clients to bring their ideas to fruition.

The OCCI provides training and resources to developers to effectively bring their products to market, encourage innovation, create and sustain a healthy economy, and, importantly, solve problems within the agricultural industry.

Additional training and support are available through OCCI’s partner, the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN).

Uniquely positioned to assist new entrepreneurs to established businesses, CARIN helps to develop agriculture, technology, manufacturing, and energy transition— or oil pivot. Complete with advisory services, training, and access to funding partners, CARIN offers an eight-week Catalyst Incubator too.

The Incubator evolves a participant's concept from the idea stage through market and risk assessment, development planning, production, and finally, business scaling.

For more information about CARIN and the Catalyst Incubator, complete the contact form here.

Does the OCCI Provide Funding for Agriculture Development?

The OCCI receives support from organizations including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Western Economic Diversification, and the Government of Alberta.

The government has several agriculture grants in Alberta available.

This funding allows the OCCI to continue its applied research studies and assist industry partners, entrepreneurs and agriculture businesses in obtaining agriculture grants and funding from alternative sources and agencies.

While the OCCI does not provide funding directly, it assists its partners by accessing the diverse network of agencies and funding resources to help drive growth in the rural economy.

In Review...

The Olds College Centre for Innovation supports innovation and growth in the agriculture industry to develop the rural economy. By connecting industry leaders and experts with creative entrepreneurs, the OCCI helps diversify the agriculture industry, making it more sustainable and efficient well into the future.

Want more information on how the OCCI can help your agriculture business?

CONTACT them at or toll-free at 1-800-661-6537

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To be added to the CARIN distribution list, stay informed on innovation networking events, workshops, courses, trade missions, and government grants.

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