AIFS is proud to have Jim Pantaleo, Business Development Coordinator attend and represent our institute at the nation’s top controlled environment agriculture scientists – the NCERA-101 event in Tucson at the Marriott University Park Hotel, September 11-14. He will moderate a panel on Tuesday, September 13 entitled “Production Quality in Indoor Agriculture” with panelists iUNU CEO, Adam Greenberg, Dr. Matt Lingard, VP of Agriculture and Science at Bright Farms, and Dr. David Hawley, Principal Scientist at Fluence Bioengineering.

The acronym: North Central Extension & Research Activity-101 is a committee organized by the USDA to help plant scientists understand how to “use controlled environment technology effectively and consistently.” Meetings are held annually -the 2019 meeting was held at  The Biosphere2 in Oracle, Arizona: A major activity of the meeting is the exchange of information on new technologies and challenges in controlled environments.

A “Who’s Who” of both academic and indoor agriculture professionals will be present at the event, including Jenn Frymark, Chief of Greenhouses at Gotham Greens, Dr. Bruce Bugbee of Utah State University, Dr’s Gioia Massa and Raymond Wheeler from NASA, Dr. Nate Storey, co-founder and CSO of Plenty, Dr. Leo Marcelis of Wageningen UR, and many more! A host of universities will also be represented including Michigan State, the University of Florida, Clemson, Texas A&M, UC Davis, and several international institutions.

AIFS is taking part in Davis Discovery Days which runs May 9-13th. The AIFS Showcase will take place on May 10 from 10 am – 3 pm. It will highlight AIFS’s central themes:

  • Food systems supply chain resiliency
  • AI-drive food systems to improve human health
  • AI infrastructure development for Food Systems

Monday, May 9 UC Davis Conference Center Ballroom B

Career Exploration Fellowship Program Final Presentations 3 pm – 5 pm

Career Exploration Fellows Reception 5 pm – 6:30 pm

Tuesday, May 10

AIFS Showcase 10 am -3 pm  UC Davis Conference Center

AIFS Reception 3 pm- 5 pm Buehler Alumni Center

Questions? Please contact




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AIFS attended the Future Food-Tech conference in San Francisco on March 24-25.  Director Ilias Tagkopoulos served as moderator on a panel focused on: R&D 4.0: Leveraging AI and Machine Learning to Cut Time and Cost

With the complexity of R&D in the food industry increasing, how can AI and machine learning be integrated into the research and design process?

  • What digital technologies are proving effective in testing the functionality of new ingredients in the food matrix?
  • What data sets do we need to generate in order for this implementation to be groundbreaking and transformative?
  • Aside from data, what are the infrastructure requirements to ensure success?


  • Prem Swaroop Mohanty, Life Sciences Product Director, BENCHLING
  • Aadit Patel, Director of Machine Learning & Data Science, NOTCO
  • Michel van der Stappen, R&D Digital and Data Director, UNILEVER
  • Jasmin Hume, Founder and CEO, SHIRU
  • Jill Powers, Vice President, Consumer Products & Retail, US Sales, SIEMENS

DIGICROP 2022: International Conference on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Crop Production

March 28-30, 2022

DIGICROP 2022 is a scientific event addressing an international and interdisciplinary audience working at the intersection of engineering, robotics, computer science, crop sciences, agricultural sciences, phenotyping, and economics, co-hosted by PhenoRob and AIFS. We welcome contributions that develop, propose, use, or evaluate new digital technologies towards sustainability in the context of crop production, crop breeding, biodiversity, or our agro-ecosystem. DIGICROP 2022 will offer a mix of keynote presentations, invited talks, and video talks based on submitted contributions. The conference aims to stimulate scientific discussions among the participants and disseminate results across disciplinary boundaries.

DIGICROP 2022 will take place online, consisting of pre-recorded video talks and live Q&A sessions. Talks will be available online from February 15 on. Live Q&A sessions for the talks will happen via an online conferencing tool on March 28-30 (in the daytime, CET). The whole event is free of charge for all participants and presenters.

Register Now

AIFS participated in Indoor Ag-Con in Las Vegas, NV February 28 – March 1, 2022

Join us, growers, IT execs, investors & others at Indoor Ag-Con for a first-hand look at the trends & innovations for one of today’s fastest-growing industries – indoor vertical farming & controlled environment agriculture.

AIFS participation included:

  • Shamim Ahamed Ph.D. who will speak and moderate on the HVAC – What’s Right For Your Grow panel
  • Steve Brown Ph.D. will moderate a panel on IoT and Sensor Tech on the Farm
  • Gabe Youtsey on the Large Controlled Environment Agriculture Success panel
  • Jim Pantaleo will serve as the Educational Conference Master of Ceremonies


AIFS has launched a YouTube channel.  Content is added regularly, with our Fall 2021 Speaker Series as some of the inaugural content. Links below to each event posted.

December 8, 2021: Moderated by Dr. Harold Schmitz, General Partner at the March Fund, Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board, featuring panelists Kimmo Makinen, Gail Taylor, and Abigail Stevenson.

View YouTube Video

October 27, 2021: Challenges in the discovery of new functional foods and ingredients for human health and how AI could change the game.

Speaker: Dr. Kimmo Makinen, Director of Innovation, Novozymes, AIFS Industrial Advisory Board.

View YouTube Video

November 10, 2021: AI challenges for fast development of high nutrition crops

Speaker: Dr. Gail Taylor, Professor Chair of Plant Sciences, UC Davis

View YouTube Video

November 17, 2021: How AI can improve food safety helping to enable safe food for all

Dr. Abigail Stevenson, Vice President, Mars Advanced Research Institute, AIFS Industrial Advisory Board

View YouTube Video