Launch of White Paper on the Value of Digital Data and the Collaborative Application of AI in the Biofood Sector

As part of the November 11, 2021 event L’agroalimentaire du futur: IA, agriculture durable et innovation en recherche, organized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec, the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology (OBVIA) will present the content of the white paper on the valorization of digital data and the concerted application of AI in the biofood industry, produced in collaboration with the Forum IA Québec and the Institut de valorisation des données (IVADO) based on a need expressed by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ).

This white paper is the result of a series of awareness-raising and consultation workshops aimed at initiating a collective reflection on the potential of digital data in the bio-food industry, the obstacles to their use, and the needs of stakeholders. Beyond this diagnosis, it aims to present the key issues raised by the biofood of the future and to propose courses of action to enhance the value of digital data and artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the biofood sector in Quebec.

Launched in December 2020 and conducted with all sectors of the sector (animal production, plant production, food processing, and fisheries and aquaculture), this consultation process focused on cooperation between the academic, public and private sectors. This consultation has allowed us to establish a precise portrait of the transformation of production methods and innovation related to these technologies in order to respond to the three major challenges facing the biofood sector, namely:

  1. the aggravation of the labour shortage
  2. the transformation of consumer habits
  3. the complexity of the sector

In light of these consultations, biofood stakeholders anticipate a follow-up to this process and strongly hope that the proposals presented in this white paper can be shared with all stakeholders in the sector and public decision makers.

“This white paper is the first milestone in the coherent and coordinated development of digital infrastructures. While it sheds light on the importance of digital data and artificial intelligence for the biofood sector, it also invites us to build a collaborative governance model and develop responsible technologies,” according to Henri-Paul Rousseau, Visiting Professor, Paris School of Economics, Associate Professor, HEC Montreal, Visiting Fellow, CIRANO, Montreal, Senior Fellow, CD HOWE, Toronto

Download the White Paper (In French only)



The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology  (OBVIA) is an open research network that brings together the expertise of 260 researchers from 18 Quebec post-secondary institutions (universities and colleges) as well as numerous national and international partners. Supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), OBVIA helps communities, organizations and society maximize the positive benefits and minimize the negative impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies.


Forum IA Québec is a non-profit organization created in the wake of the unveiling of the Strategy for the Development of the Quebec Ecosystem in Artificial Intelligence. Its mission is to make AI a lever of economic and social development for Quebec by ensuring the coordination of the players in the field, by conducting strategic reflection activities and by promoting the influence of the ecosystem in Quebec, in Canada and abroad.


IVADO was born from an initiative of the Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal in 2016. With the support of its ecosystem meshing the academic, industrial and institutional communities, IVADO develops cutting-edge expertise in the various fields of digital intelligence (including data science, artificial intelligence and operations research) and helps transform new scientific discoveries into concrete applications, economic opportunities and benefits for society.

Justin Lawarée
Public Affairs Advisor
International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology (OBVIA)
418 656-2131, ext. 408570
1 877 785-2825, ext. 408570

  • Eric Paquet

    Professeur adjoint au Département des sciences animales

    Université Laval

  • Marc-André Sirard

    Professeur au Département des sciences animales de la Faculté des sciences de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation, titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en génomique appliquée à la reproduction

    Université Laval

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The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology is made possible by the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.