The week of June 13, 2022, a University of California delegation, led by UC ANR’s Gabe Youtsey, with representation from Jim Pantaleo, AIFS Business Development Coordinator took part in GreenTech; Europe’s largest horticultural trade show with over 13,000 attendees over a 3-day period. Dutch host, Maureen de Haan of the FME, who represent over 2,200 Dutch technology and horticulture companies, in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and NLWorks and together with the Global Controlled Environment Agriculture Consortium (GCEAC) Program Leadership Team convened with partners from Wageningen University, visited Dutch AgTech companies and built a stronger network to further accelerate AgTech innovation to solve global food, health and sustainability challenges.

Highlights included:
– Tour of Wageningen’s Dairy Campus to discuss the current challenges of the Dutch and American dairy industry. Hosted by eke FolkertsKees de Koning, and Flavia Casu.
– The FME hosted the Global Controlled Environment Agriculture Consortium (GCEAC) lunch during GreenTech with a focus on opportunities for CEA innovation, direct partnering, and collaborative projects. This luncheon brought together those from the recent Dutch delegation visit to California in May.

–  An inspiring visit to the Floating Farm Rotterdam.
– Thomas Zoellner of the FarmTech Society provided several tours of innovative AgTech companies located at the CEA Abattoir cluster BIGH in Brussels, Belgium.

AIFS would like to thank Maureen de Haan, Gabe Youtsey, and Tom Zoellner along with Wageningen’s Jacqueline van OostenRick van de Zedde, @LuukGraamans and Aad van den Berg for their hosting of the CEA/indoor farming research and validation at Bleiswijk Wageningen University & Research and Delphy (a for-profit AgTech, greenhouse research firm).


Indoor grow facility, flowers, and staff

Wageningen and UC ANR Faculty and Staff

Mushroom growers with product

Mushroom growers in Belgium

Man with cows

Floating Farm in the Netherlands

Indoor Grow Facility

Indoor Grow Facility

CEA strawberry grower

CEA at Delphy – growing strawberries

AIFS team places among top teams at Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge

A team affiliated with AIFS participated in the 3rd annual Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, organized by Wageningen University & Research and Tencent. The team worked over the summer to develop a machine learning algorithm for greenhouse operation and management. The goal is to maximize the greenhouse lettuce growth net profit, by controlling greenhouse operations and considering fixed costs, running costs, and quality of production. The contest was divided into parts A and B, with the AIFS team placing 2nd among 45 teams in the part B Machine Learning section.

Quote from Dr. Silke Hemming, Head of the Scientific Research Team/Greenhouse Technology at Wageningen University. “During the Online Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge the AIFS team applied machine learning to an actual problem and delivered a good contribution to solve it: The (virtual) autonomous growing of lettuce in greenhouses to improve high quality and on-time fresh vegetable production. The world’s food problems need solutions such as those derived from the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, and we are happy that the AIFS team is involved.” A video of the presentation is available on our YouTube Channel.

The AI Institute for Food Systems (AIFS) and Ilias Tagkopoulos, director and principal investigator, were featured in Fortune magazine’s newsletter Eye on A.I. on August 31, 2021. Fortune Magazine A.I. Newsletter 8:21