WHAT IS THE GTN?
GTN is the Greenhouse Technology Network.
GTN is a network of research-focused centres that collaborate with small- and medium-sized organizations to advance the development, adoption, and implementation of technologies to support the greenhouse industry.
GTN leverages researchers, faculty, students, and state-of-the-market facilities and equipment, together with funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, to support greenhouse and related technology businesses.
GROWING INNOVATION FOR ONTARIO’S GREENHOUSE INDUSTRY
Rita Sterne, PhD (Mgmt)
Greenhouse Technology Network
Rita Sterne is the Project Manager for the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), a Niagara College-led consortium of academic research institutions supporting the research needs of greenhouse and related technology businesses through applied projects. Rita is responsible for recruitment and outreach as well as day-to-day operations of the network.
Rita has managed businesses and research labs and has applied her management knowledge as a business strategy consultant to small businesses and social enterprises. She earned her MBA and PhD (Mgmt) from the University of Guelph. She was introduced to the greenhouse industry as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2017 where she researched value creation opportunities from the adoption of robotics in Ontario’s vegetable greenhouses.
Network Project Assistant
Greenhouse Technology Network
Cassandra Austin is the Network Project Assistant for the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), a Niagara College-led consortium of academic research institutions supporting the research needs of greenhouse and related technology businesses through applied projects. Cassie supports two network teams, concentrating most of her time on the reporting and administrative responsibilities of GTN. She also supports the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) during reporting periods and at times, helps with onboarding of new network members.
Cassie has worked in the customer service and office administration industries for more than 10 years. Most recently, she was the Front Desk Receptionist with Krown Rust Control and has also worked with Canadian Tire Financial Services providing high-quality customer experiences and accurate financial records for clients. A Niagara resident and a double Niagara College alumnus, she has her diplomas in the Aesthetician program, as well as Office Administration.
Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre, Niagara College
Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario
With growing environmental and ecological pressures, Niagara College’s Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre team works with private and public sector partners to develop innovative solutions to address today’s challenges in precision agriculture, GIS, computer programming, sustainable food production, plant growth, horticultural practices, greenhouse operations, aquaponics, environmental management and renewable energies.
Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility, University of Guelph
The Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF) and its Space and Advanced Life Support Agriculture program are an essential part of Canada’s contributions to plant research and development for space and closed environment related activities. The CESRF provides a complete research venue suitable for measurement of plant growth, gas exchange, volatile organic compound (VOC) evolution, and nutrient remediation in a precisely controlled environment. The facility is comprised of 24 sealed environment chambers including 14 variable pressure plant growth hypobaric chambers capable of sustaining a vacuum. CESRF’s personnel have extensive experience in the fields of plant physiology, environment analysis and sensor technology.
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is a uniquely Canadian results-oriented organization dedicated to horticulture science and innovation and to improving the economic viability, sustainability and competitiveness of horticulture in Canada. Vineland delivers innovative products, solutions and services through an integrated and collaborative cross-country network to advance Canada’s research and commercialization agenda.
St. Catharines, Ontario
With over 600 outstanding faculty researchers engaged in world-class research and innovations across many disciplines, Brock University offers innovative technologies, opportunities for collaboration and partnerships, and unique services. Brock includes strong expertise within greenhouse technology, such as, environmental sustainability in agriculture, plant and fungi science, data science and analytics, Internet of Things, engineering, business management, and more. Brock houses over 300-sq feet of sophisticated temperature and humidity-controlled research greenhouse and plant transformation facilities. In addition, Brock’s Validation Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute (VPMI) is a landmark facility aimed at making Niagara a research and innovation leader in bioagriculture, bioscience and chemical manufacturing sectors.
University of Windsor
Agriculture at University of Windsor AgUWin is the recently launched agriculture initiative from the University of Windsor. This initiative supports the basic and applied research to support the Canadian greenhouse sector. AgUWin has partnered with Horteca, a joint venture between JEM Farms, a major greenhouse operator in Essex County and Ecoation, a multi-national agriculture technology solutions provider, headquartered in Essex County, to operationalize 2 acres of active research and development greenhouse space in Ruthven, Ontario into the AgUWin Innovation Greenhouse. This space will further support the research and development of commercially viable research and technology in a live environment and enable experiential learning opportunities for students.
OUR APPLIED RESEARCH PROJECT PROCESS