Day One — June 20, 2018 Afternoon
Rethink Welcome Remarks
Stephan Groves, Director, RETHINK EVENTS, UK
Welcome Address: Transforming Communities through Healthy Food Systems
Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, CITY OF NEW YORK, USA
David Belt, Co-Founder & CEO, NEW LAB, USA
Indoor & Vertical Farming as Part of a Local, Regional & National Food System
• Indoor agriculture has captured the imagination of generation of new farmers wanting to be part of the future of food movement, connect with healthy food and create a sustainable society. What benefits does indoor growing systems bring as part of a sustainable, local and regional food system and as a livelihood for communities?
• What policies, incentives and regulatory requirements are needed to underpin this emerging sector? How does New York compare with other cities in California such as Oakland or Sacramento which are moving in this direction?
• To what extent can indoor farming provide the nutritional needs of communities and what is the potential for these systems to change people’s eating habits, buying habits and become a solution to public health concerns, such as food deserts?
• How is the convergence of technologies making these indoor facilities possible? As these systems scale, how is the industry going to embrace new tailored technologies such as gene-editing? What’s not possible now that will be in the next 5-10 years?
Victor Friedberg, Founder & Chairman, FOODSHOT GLOBAL, USA
Dave Rosenberg, CEO, AEROFARMS, USA
Viraj Puri, CEO, GOTHAM GREENS, USA
Irving Fain, CEO, BOWERY, USA
Fabio Ziemssen, Director Food Innovation NX Food, METRO GROUP, GERMANY
How Could Indoor Ag Service the Changing Face of the Consumer & Grocery Retail?
• What are retailers and consumers demanding and in terms of sustainability, taste, consistency and year-round security? How are produce buyers thinking about this sector? What would they like to see?
• What are the challenges around food safety? What do food producers and operators need to adhere to including certifications, authorisations, audits and communicate to consumers IE, USDA-Certified Organic and ISO compliance
• How are growers successfully communicating the added value of indoor production methods in terms of nutritional value, lifestyle, environment impact, food safety and flavour? How can customers be convinced to pay higher margins on local healthier food? What niche markets can be serviced by indoor growing and is there enough demand from the market – for example, for rare and heirloom breeds, which are more tender and flavourful, but less resilient to long journeys.
• How can you make these production systems more responsive at the consumer end? How does on-demand digital communications platform such as Amazon’s Alexa, become an enabler from an e-commerce perspective?
Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg, SVP and Sector Head, Ag/Food Tech and Packaged Food, Food and Agribusiness Industry Advisors WELLS FARGO N.A., USA
Erez Galonska, Co-Founder & CEO, INFARM, GERMANY
Stacie Sopinka, VP Innovation & Product Development, US FOODS, USA
Thomas McQuillan, Director of Food Service Sales and Sustainability, BALDER SPECIALITY FOODS, USA
Nourishing Cities of Tomorrow
• A vision for how vertical farming will deliver a robust, affordable and local food supply chain within the mega cities of tomorrow.
Nate Storey, Chief Scientific Officer, PLENTY, USA
Networking Drinks Reception
Day Two — June 21, 2018 Morning
Matrix of Success: Indoor & Hybrid Operations & Systems Set to Scale Rapidly
• Which type of operations and technology stacks are having the most success today? How do technology stacks compare and what pain points are operators looking to solve? Who are operators looking to for their integrated solutions?
• How are operators managing their carbon footprint compared to field-grown agriculture and could these systems even replace certain field-grown operations as productivity and efficiencies improve? To what extent are operators looking to disrupt the supply chain as a whole?
• How are long-established farming majors diversifying their growing techniques? What impact will these players have in supporting this emerging industry? Where are the opportunities for partnerships to emerge between companies?
• What commercial approaches are successful companies using to deliver a profitable return? Are branded products the only successful strategy? What guarantees do retailers need in order to enter into long-term purchasing commitments with indoor growers? What is the trajectory of these partnerships and how do they scale?
• To what extent can the sector move towards standardising operations and how important is this for future growth of the industry? What will the industry look like in 20 years?
Scott Brady, Founding Partner, INNOVATION ENDEAVOURS, USA
Tim Heydon, CEO, SHENANDOAH, USA
Paul Lightfoot, CEO, BRIGHT FARMS, USA
Dave Vosberg, CFO & SVP Strategy, FRESH BOX FARMS, USA
Keynote: Building the Future of Food Through Collaboration
Investor Debate: What Type of Capital Does This Sector Need to Grow
• Despite the significant investment which has gone into a few indoor hi-tech farming operations, the investment community remain hesitant to put capital into this sector. Has investment peaked or are going to see investment interest rise? What are the key concerns and what kind of capital does this sector need to grow?
• Can indoor farming operations scale at a rate that’s attractive to VCs? How long does it take operations to turn a profit? How big are the input costs of this asset-heavy business?
• What is the perceived risk and can it provide high returns? What does a team need to look like to build a global brand? What is the most appropriate capital at each point of the business? How can we attract senior debt into the industry to improve he ROI? How does vertical farming differ from other indoor glass house investments?
Joel S. Marcus, Executive Chairman & Founder, ALEXANDRIA REAL ESTATE EQUITIES, USA
Lynne Zydowsky, PhD, President & Co-Founder, ALEXANDRIA SUMMIT, Chief Science Officer, ALEXANDRIA REAL ESTATE EQUITIES, INC./ALEXANDRIA VENTURE INVESTMENTS, USA
Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director and CIO, S2G VENTURES, USA
Adrian Percy, Head of Research & Development, BAYER, GERMANY
John Dombrosky, CEO, AGTECH ACCELERATOR, USA
Carl Casale, Board Member, SYNGENTA, USA
Networking Coffee Break
Indoor Economics: Automation, Power Management and Profitability
Sir Henry Aykroyd, CEO & Founder, IGS, UK
Crops, Robotics, Lighting & Automation: Engineering Systems for Enhanced Efficiency
• Automation and digital management is a critical aspect of reducing costs in order to increase gross margins and optimise efficiencies. What value can data bring to the supply chain as a whole? To what extent are operators marrying genetics with other engineering and structural elements of the system design, such as LEDs, Robotics etc. What are the latest advances and how are companies building competitive advantages around the non-commoditized aspects of growing – lighting, HVAC, and automation, computer vision?
• What technology solutions can be transferred from more established glass house operations and open field agriculture to hi-tech indoor operations? What lessons can be learned about future proofing operations as the industry evolves?
• How will breakthroughs in LED science, automation, ML & AI change the efficiency equation? Can indoor, artificial-light based systems ever be efficient as conventional agriculture when taking distribution into account?
• What field trials and research is taking place to grow high value crops such as fruiting plants in a totally controlled environment using 100% LED lighting. How can investors, universities and research centres collaborate effectively?
Jan Westra, Strategic Business Development Director, PRIVA, NETHERLANDS
Josh Ruiz, VP Agricultural Operations, CHURCH BROTHERS FARMS, USA
Dave Scott, CTO, IGS, UK
Ally Monk, Co-Founder & CEO, MOTORLEAF, USA
Nick Klase, Co-Founder & CEO, FLUENCE, USA
Day Two — June 21, 2018 Afternoon
Technology Showcase: Early Stage Technology Innovators Pitch Seven Minute Snapshots of their Solutions
Jonathan Lodge, CEO, CITY FARM SYSTEMS, UK
Iddo Geltner, CEO, ARUGGA AI FARMING, ISRAEL
Nick Genty, Founder, SMART SPECTRUM, USA
Kosuke Yamada, Founder & CEO, PLANTX, JAPAN
Adam Greenberg, CEO, IUNU, USA
Hunter Swisher, Founder, PHOSPHOLUTIONS, USA
Micki Seibel, Discover Team, SOCIAL CAPITAL, USA
John Dombrosky, CEO, AGTECH ACCELERATOR, USA
Presentation: A Hi-Tech Model for Farming in UAE
• UAE is looking at innovative technologies and indoor farming as a solution for food security and food safety concerns. To what extent could controlled environment agriculture play a role and how are governments, academia and industry collaborating to deliver solutions?
Omar Al Jundi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BADIA FARMS, UAE
Plant Science: Optimising Traits to Indoor Systems
• What are the latest approaches to optimising yields in vertical, controlled environment agriculture? How can emerging technologies around seeds and genetics better service this industry and to what extent can you tailor genetic considerations to match specific operations?
• What role do other system inputs including growth media and nutrients have in fine-tuning the outputs and delivering a consistent product?
• What can we expect in the near term and longer-term horizons? As these systems evolve, what partnerships can we expect? Where will the next wave of innovation come from?
John Purcell, Global Vegetables R&D Lead, MONSANTO COMPANY, USA
John Reich, Scientific Programme Director, FFAR, USA
Neil Mattson, CEA Co-Director and Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, USA
Sekhar Boddupalli, Senior Vice President, Food Sector, INTREXON CORPORATION, USA
What Lessons Can The Cannabis Market and Indoor Produce Sector Teach Each Other?
Lasse Schulze, Director of R&D and Horticulture, CRONOS GROUP, CANADA
Networking Coffee Break
Future Markets: Opportunities Beyond Produce in Nutraceuticals & Pharmaceuticals
As indoor farming systems move closer towards pharmaceutical production systems. What are the speciality opportunities that indoor agriculture can access within the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical space? What are the technical challenges that need to be solved. What are the technology frontiers and what are the costs to get to a commercial product?
Arama Kukutai, Managing Director, FINISTERE VENTURES, USA
Nate Storey, CSO, PLENTY, USA
Jessica Kristof, VP R&D, PHYLOS BIOSCIENCES, USA
Barry Holtz, President, IBIO CDMO, USA
Nurturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Indoor Farming for Sustainable Communities
• How can the industry best support aspiring entrepreneurs looking to deliver scalable and profitable businesses in indoor farming? How can they de-risk their business model and attract more capital into the sector? What collaboration models and partnerships are being used to create market pull-through.
• The US government offers tax reductions on water and electricity, it subsidizes workforces and assists in real estate acquisition. How does this work in practise and what additional support is needed?
• What resources are available to drive forward this industry and how can the private and public sector work together more effectively?
Jeffrey Landau, Projects Director, AGRITECTURE CONSULTING, USA
Tobias Peggs, CEO, SQUARE ROOTS URBAN GROWERS, USA
Micheal Guttman, Director Sustainable Development, KENNETT TOWNSHIP, USA
Brad McNamara, CEO & Co-Founder, FREIGHT FARMS, USA
Eri Hayashi, Director, International Relations & Consulting JAPAN PLANT FACTORY ASSOCIATION (JPFA), JAPAN
Close of Summit