Akitig Creates the Future of Agri-Tech Through Innovation and Investment in R&D
Launches sustainable mushroom farming
that is powered in part by SR&ED tax
credits from partner Boast.
The problem with commercially produced mushrooms is the way they are grown.
The process requires the right moisture, temperature, light, and nutrients. Although people see mushrooms in their grocery stores and order them at their local restaurants, their quality, price, and freshness all hinge on how they were grown. Specialty mushrooms are highly labor and capital intensive, and most of these mushrooms are grown in a surprising way, in sawdust while on a boat from China. One innovative agri-tech company, Akitig, is challenging the current commercial specialty mushroom production model with a new and more sustainable approach. The British Columbia, Canada business has grown out of the desire of Akitig founders Patrick Lemieux and Isabela Jatczak to create value-added products to maximize the agricultural opportunity for mushroom farming using robotics and technology.
“I came out of the telecom industry, so I knew technology,” said Patrick Lemieux, Akitig CEO and Founder. “But I also knew farming, forestry, and mushrooms, and I saw an opportunity to do things much better. Technology and innovation are bringing so much change to our industry, and the main benefactor is the consumer because they can consume a healthier and more delicious mushroom that’s more affordable.”
“Technology and innovation are bringing so much change to our industry, and the main benefactor is the consumer.”
PATRICK LEMIEUX, AKITIG CEO AND FOUNDER
Pioneering a New Process
Mushrooms that are more sustainably grown are better for the environment and for the consumer. Akitig has pioneered new processes for mushroom growth that reduce the labor-intensive approach used in today’s multibillion-dollar industry. The company grows their specialty mushrooms on logs from trees that they harvest doing forest improvement activities, saving time and energy, and utilizing this biomass that previously had no commercial value.
In partnership with BC government forestry departments, Akitig uses drones and software to locate the trees for harvesting. The company has designed and built automated log inoculation technology that ‘fruits’ the mushrooms into the logs in a new way and stacks the logs in tight patterns that are easily harvested after they grow in factory-controlled environments.
One innovative agri-tech company, Akitig, is challenging the current commercial specialty mushroom production model with a new and more sustainable approach.
Innovation in R&D Led to Automation
The process from Akitig is highly automated, reducing labor dependency. Vertical growth allows the team to work around condense farming space constraints while still producing highly desirable, more delicious, non-toxic mushrooms that are truly organic. “We had to invent stackable processes and technology to make our vertical farming ideas come to life,” said Isabela Jatczak, Akitig COO and Co-founder. “The entire growth lifecycle had to be considered, evaluated, and reimagined. Today, Akitig can produce highly valuable specialty mushrooms in a highly automated and sustainable way.”
As the company has invested in innovation and R&D, it has utilized the Canadian Government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Design (SR&ED) tax credit program to help fund, in part, their new advancements. “SR&ED has been an important part of helping advance our technology,” said Lemieux. “Boast helped us navigate SR&ED and maximize our claims. The process was easier, and our claims were larger because of our partnership with Boast and the use of their technology.”
“Akitig’s innovation is truly impressive,” said Alex Popa, Boast CEO and Founder. “Their smart grow systems, with stackable, robotically managed technology helps them scale and grow like no other company in their industry. They are utilizing SR&ED the right way and we are excited to be supporting their growth and innovation.”
SR&ED and Boast Help Accelerate
Innovation Success for Akitig
- Easier SR&ED process; saved 70+ hours for Akitig team doing their SR&ED tax credit claims
- Larger, more accurate claim due to Boast R&D technology and Boast experts