Pieter van Hout & Jacqueline van Oosten, AgriFoodTech Platform, to moderate Vertical Farming Conference

Pieter van Hout & Jacqueline van Oosten, AgriFoodTech Platform, to moderate Vertical Farming Conference, Jun 28, 2017, Villa Flora, Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo, The Netherlands.

Jacqueline van OostenAbout Jacqueline van Oosten
As Project Manager at FME Jacqueline wants to create awareness of the possibilities of responsible, (technological) innovation for a more sustainable food system. She believes in the strength of mutual inspiration. Bringing different people with additional knowledge and knowhow together contributes to this awareness and inspires people and business developing a better system. One of the ways to fulfill this, is her role as Program Manager of the AgriFoodTech Platform.

Pieter van HoutAbout Pieter van Hout
With a background in Human Geography (BSc.) and Climate Studies (MSc.), Pieter focusses on long term international sustainability through a holistic approach. He believes in the combined power of techno-ecologic agriculture. On behalf of LTO Nederland, he is one of the two Program Managers for the AgriFoodTech Platform. He works on facilitating social responsible innovation on the ground and also on influencing the innovation support system.

About FME
FME is the Dutch employers’ organisation in the technology industry. The 2,200 affiliated companies include technology start-ups, trading companies, small and medium-sized industrial enterprises as well as large industrial conglomerates. Our members are active in the fields of manufacturing, trade automation and maintenance in the metal, electronics, electrical engineering and plastics sectors. FME members employ a total of 220,000 people, have a combined turnover of € 75 billion, their collective added value amounts to over € 21 billion, and their exports total € 39 billion. FME members therefore account for one-sixth of all Dutch exports. FME has 60 affiliated trade associations. FME mobilises and connects partners in the technology industry to meet the big challenges society faces, both today and in the future. In doing so, we increase our members’ individual and collective earning power.

The Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (ZLTO) represents the interests of entrepreneurs working in green areas. Around 15,000 farmers and growers in the South-Netherlands are members of our association. Together with them, we work to produce healthy food innovatively and sustainably. ZLTO supports green entrepreneurs in their daily operational business and is also their connection to other sectors and organizations for creating new opportunities for sustainable economic growth and social welfare.

AgriFoodTech PlatformAbout AgriFoodTech Platform
Moore’s Law is well-known amongst everyone with the slightest bit of interest in technology and technological advancement. Technology will develop and progression will be made and it will be fast. But can society cope with this pace and do new technologies actually enter the market and get adopted to really become a disruptive innovation? When combining technology with food production, one enters a domain where different laws apply. Society, e.g. the general public, has a stronger opinion about agriculture, horticulture, food processing and the retail landscape than they have on football. Therefore, having an open dialogue on AgriFoodTech is important to increase awareness and public support for these advancements. The AgriFoodTech Platform has the goal to facilitate the dialogue between society, NGO’s, business, research, education and the government. Bringing these parties together improves mutual understanding for each point of view. It can help businesses to understand the needs of society, in such that shared value is created. As a very important bycatch, these cross-overs between sectors and different organisations sparks new ideas for innovation.

About  Vertical Farming Conference 
The Vertical Farming Conference is part of the first global Innovative Food-Agri Event – a two-day event (Jun 28-29, 2017) that includes 4 dedicated conferences and an exhibition:

Scope: The continually-growing world populations, the global trend to urbanisation, climate change and pressure on natural resources are key drivers for policies on global food security. Vertical farming is an innovative methodology for vertical cultivation of agricultural products, which can also realize true zero-mile city food supply. Vertical farms can be built in new or existing buildings and provide significant benefits in environmental sustainability and human health, minimizing the need for water and nutrients, and eliminating pesticides and fungicides, which are no longer needed.Vertical farming and urban agriculture, if designed and implemented appropriately, could offer sustainable and innovative solutions for improving food security.

What new business models will be successful, and will new players disrupt the traditional farming landscape? How can we feed more people on limited agricultural land, with limited resources? How can we best use space, light and logistics for an increasingly urban population? What can zero waste and low energy technologies contribute to food production in an urban environment? How to identify and develop innovative methods for sustainable food production? The conference will answer this kind of questions

Focus topics:

  • Available technologies (LED lighting, sensors, tiered growing systems, Big Data, Machine Learning/ Artificial Intelligence, etc)
  • How to deal with change (from traditional farmer to vertical farmer)
  • Cooperation / Sharing Information
  • Recipes
  • Public Skepticism / Consumer Response
  • Robotics and many more…

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