Session timings are shown in US Eastern Time (ET).
Thursday June 23
North America currently makes up the majority of the vertical farming market, but the Asia-Pacific, European and Middle Eastern markets are not far behind.
- How is the indoor agtech industry adapting to different markets, climates and consumer cultures around the world? Do some regions offer more access, incentives and potential than others?
- Which approaches and business models offer most benefit when looking at different regions?
- Which regions are becoming most popular and economically viable to build facilities and why?
- What role do policy, regulation and government play in helping the indoor/CEA industry thrive?
- How are governments and sovereign wealth funds creating innovation hubs by attracting talent and high-tech innovation to their regions?
David Verbitsky, MD, Head of AgTech & Sustainable Food, NOMURA GREENTECH, USA
Yong Park, Head of Global Business Operations, FARM8, SOUTH KOREA
Dirk Aleven, CEO, FOODVENTURES, THE NETHERLANDS
Jesper Hansen, Chief Commercial Officer, YESHEALTH, TAIWAN
Cristian Sjogren, Co-Founder & CEO, AGROURBANA, CHILE
Mayor Eric Adams, NEW YORK CITY, USA
- How do cities and communities benefit most from urban farming, and how can we ensure that food production is at the heart of all future city planning?
- What regulatory and policy frameworks have proved most successful in attracting and supporting high-tech urban farms?
- How does indoor farming intersect with the energy, transport, water and waste sectors, and how can we build its role as part of a sustainable, circular urban economy?
Stephen Ritz, Founder, GREEN BRONX MACHINE, USA
- Where are we seeing successful integration, adoption, and market dominance of indoor farming into existing supply chains? What are the barriers to further growth?
- How are local governments looking to support the success and scaling up of the industry at the city and national level. What regulatory framework and infrastructure is needed?
- COP 26 underlined the urgent need for sustainable agricultural production; Can indoor food production be part of a sustainable solution? What are the trade-offs and how can the industry improve its environmental credentials / avoid the ‘greenwashing’ label?
- How can urban agriculture help in mitigating supply chain challenges? What does the distribution model for indoor need to look like?
- What does the financial landscape look like and what is needed from the investment community to mature the industry?
Marianna Koval, Director, Invest NYC SDG, NYU STERN, USA
Katie Seawell, Chief Commercial Officer, BOWERY, USA
Viraj Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, GOTHAM GREENS, USA
Jun Long Tay, Regional Director, Americas, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD, SINGAPORE
David Rosenberg, CEO & Co-Founder, AEROFARMS, USA
- How do we maintain efficiency, consistency and quality of production whilst scaling in a maturing industry? That are the biggest obstacles to expansion?
- How have supply chain disruptions due to covid and labour shortages affected scalability?
- What are the critical success factors when deciding where to locate a new farm?
- How can growers build partnerships with local distributors and retailers in a new location and what business models are proving most successful?
- What does a successful roadmap to national and international expansion look like?
- How do farms fit into real estate portfolios amid deglobalization, and what commercial real estate opportunities does indoor farming offer?
Henry Gordon Smith, CEO, AGRITECTURE, USA
Guy Galonska, Co-Founder & CTO, INFARM, GERMANY
Jan Westra, Strategic Business Developer, PRIVA, THE NETHERLANDS
Lindsay Friedman, VP of Customer Led Solutions, PROLOGIS, USA
Paul Sellew, Founder & CEO, LITTLE LEAF FARMS, USA
Sarah Willis, CFO, IGS, UK
- How do we get transparent about energy usage and uplift the sector to avoid the ‘greenwashing’ label? What types of calculation tools are emerging?
- What are some pragmatic and feasible ways of offsetting artificial lighting to reduce energy consumption?
- What are the latest developments and innovations in renewable energy for indoor systems?
- Have growers factored in the cost of energy in all areas of their operation in kilowatts per kilogram? What research is being developed on this so it can be benchmarked and standardised?
- What incentives are there from government or utilities to invest in sustainable farming and improve day/night tariffs?
Derek Smith, Executive Director, RESOURCE INNOVATION INSTITUTE, USA
Brandy Keen, Co-Founder, SURNA CULTIVATION TECHNOLOGIES, USA
Nona Yehia, Co-Founder & CEO, VERTICAL HARVEST, USA
Kate Hofman, Co-Founder, GROWUP FARMS, UK
Emrah Ercan, Executive General Manager, INGERSOLL RAND, USA
Basil Karampelas, CEO, North America, CLEARVUE PV, AUSTRALIA
James Eaves, Director Indoor Agriculture, VOLTSERVER INC, USA
- What business and technology models are needed to scale production and ensure long-term viability?
- How can growers use sensors and precision growing technologies to optimize lighting densities, intensities and grow-times per plant?
- How can lighting technologies be optimized to benefit customers?
- What is the most accurate way of measuring the efficiency of lighting systems?
- How do we balance yield optimization with energy efficiency/carbon reduction when designing the next generation of lighting systems?
Eric Eisele, CEO, GROWFLUX, USA
Ihor Lys, Co-Founder & CTO, AGNETIX, USA
Ellis Janssen Van Boxtel, Global Director City Farming, SIGNIFY, THE NETHERLANDS
John Matcham, Innovation Director, LIGHT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES, UK
Alessandro Oliveri, Co-Founder, IGROX, ITALY
- How are advances in robotics, automation and AI technologies helping farmers streamline operations (pre and post-harvest) and be more profitable?
- By when do we see automation becoming the rule and no longer the exception? Does the future of indoor look fully automated or is a hybrid model more realistic?
- Should AI, automation and smart technologies be done in-house as one large operation, or left to a third-party expert? Which model is proving to have better outcomes?
- Growers are starting to broaden their range of crops into fruits and berries. Are these crops durable enough to be harvested mechanically? How can we design indoor operations to factor in crop diversity and delicate crops?
Robert Colangelo, CEO, GREEN SENSE FARMS HOLDINGS, USA
Kenneth Tran, CTO, KOIDRA, USA
Eric Adamson, Co-Founder & CEO, TORTUGA AGTECH, USA
Jake Felser, CTO, FREIGHT FARMS, USA
Allison Kopf, Chief Growth Officer, IUNU, USA
- How can Lean farming improve CEA?
- How can automation convert CEA from loser to winner?
- How does scalability make CEA more competitive?
- How can dynamic growth conditions improve CEA yield and quality?
Thomas Ambrosi, Co-Founder, ONO EXPONENTIAL FARMING, ITALY
- Retailers and food service companies are showing increasing interest in the development of indoor farming. What are the biggest advantages to them?
- What do retail and food service operators require of indoor growers to be their first-choice supplier? What type of products are in highest demand?
- Are indoor growers able to match the portfolios and meet the demands of food service operators?
- What challenges have buyers faced in partnering with indoor growers and vice versa? How can these be avoided in the future?
- Should the same food standards and practices such as on-site chopping and pre-washing apply to indoor? What research is there on this?
Rashid bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Founder & CEO, PENINSULA FARMS, BAHRAIN
Khadija Oubala, CEO, THE SULTAN CENTER, KUWAIT
Yan Branco, Head, Quality Control & Produce Supplier Development, SOBEYS, CANADA
Sean Walsh, North America Director of Fruits, Vegetables & Dairy, GORDON FOOD SERVICE, USA
- What are the latest developments in seed breeding and genetics? What consumer-driven traits such as higher nutritional content and longer shelf-life can seed breeding offer?
- How will new seed varieties allow producers to differentiate themselves? How can indoor producers build their brand through unique flavor profiles and enhanced nutritional value?
- How are seed companies and lighting providers collaborating to develop new crop varieties?
- How will the shorter-supply chains of indoor/CEA open doors to product innovation that starts with seeds?
- Flavor varieties in crops such as strawberries have been ignored due to disease resistance. As indoor reduces this risk, what potential is there for product innovation and exploration?
- How could indoor play a role in the ‘food as medicine’ trend when it comes to extending the nutritional value of crops, herbs and spices? Is this a more profitable market worth selling into?
Joel Cuello, Professor of Biosystems Engineering, THE UNIVESITY OF ARIZONA, USA
Jade Stinson, Co-Founder & President, VINDARA, USA
John Reich, Scientific Program Director, FFAR, USA
John Purcell, CEO & President, UNFOLD, USA
Gretchen Raymond, Managing Director, RIJK ZWAAN, USA
- The indoor farming sector has seen yet another year of growth with huge valuations and capital flowing in from all directions, as well as SPACs, mergers, and acquisitions. What have been the biggest success stories and why? What have we learned?
- What is the right type of finance to grow this industry? From equity to debt financing, what types of capital do companies in CEA need the most?
- With interest and inflation rates on the rise, how conservative will investors be in supporting the indoor farming industry?
- When is the best time for public funding? Is the industry ready to embrace the public market or stick to private financing?
- What is the thought-process of decision-makers who want to take their company public?
Nick Houshower, Principal, EQUILIBRIUM, USA
Gingee Prince, Chief Impact Officer & MD, ENHANCED CAPITAL, USA
Jed Lynch, Head of Americas, Sustainable & Impact Banking, BARCLAYS INVESTMENT BANK, USA
Alastair Cooper, Head of Venture Investments, CIBUS FUND, UK
Joseph Schirripa, Global VP, Corporate Development & Strategy, MCCAIN FOODS, CANADA
Henner Schwarz, Chief Commercial Officer, KALERA, GERMANY
Friday June 24
The strawberry is showing up as the next ‘it’ crop within Indoor Farming, where businesses around the world are dedicating facilities exclusively to this high-in-demand crop. As well as diving into a panel discussion to explore this emerging market, there will be the opportunity to sample some delicious strawberries from our indoor growers.
- What is the pathway to production for indoor grown strawberries? How competitive is this emerging market?
- How are seed companies innovating in this area and what are the challenges working with strawberries?
- How are strawberries opening doors for indoor agriculture and aiding in the growth and support for this sector?
- How do we bring down the cost of indoor grown strawberries, so they are price competitive with imported produce?
Christine Zimmermann- Loessl, Chairwoman, ASSOCIATION FOR VERTICAL FARMING, GERMANY
Paul J Mastronardi, Co-Owner, EVER TRU FARMS, CANADA
Neil Mattson, CEA Director & Associate Professor, School of Plant Science, Horticulture, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, USA
James Lloyd-Jones, Founder & CEO, JONES FOOD COMPANY, UK
Christine Kretz, VP, Programs & Partnerships, INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, USA
As the cost of indoor production falls, the viability of new crop varieties increases. This session will explore what these varieties are and what their route to commercial production looks like.
Jonas Günther, Co-Founder, WE ARE THE NEW FARMERS, USA
Ines Sagrario, CEO & Co-Founder, EKONOKE, SPAIN
Ragnar Tomasson, Co-Founder, NORDIC WASABI, ICELAND
- What are the next emerging frontier crops for indoor growing beyond leafy greens?
- How do we broaden the range of high-quality crops whilst also achieving economic and sustainable viability?
- How are seed breeding and genetics assisting in the expansion of crop diversity for indoor growing?
- What are the implications for labour and automation as we expand to non-leafy crops? Do fruit crops require more human touch?
- What other emerging markets can indoor/CEA tap into, such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and plant-based proteins? Is it too soon?
- What impact could the diversification of crops have on the speed at which the industry can scale and become profitable?
Jennifer Waxman, Executive Director, THE VILLAGES GROWN, USA
Brendan Somerville, Co-Founder & COO, OISHII, USA
Andrew Carter, CEO, SMALLHOLD, USA
Victor Verlage, Chief Agronomy and R&D Officer, 80 ACRES FARMS, USA
The industry’s most exciting indoor agtech entrepreneurs will each pitch their innovative solutions on stage, followed by an exploratory Q&A from our corporate and VC investors.
Daniel White, CEO, CLEAN CROP TECHNOLOGIES, USA
Sumanta Talukdar, Founder & CEO, GARDIN, UK
Siddharth Jadhav, Founder & CEO, POLYBEE, SINGAPORE
Magdalena Szawarska, Co-Founder & VP, NANGATECH, POLAND
Brian Rich, Managing Director, CATALYST INVESTORS, USA
Mohamed Jouan Salem AlDhaheri, President, THE MONARCH GROUP/ Specialist, ADIA, UAE
Joost Somford, Senior VP, JASA PACKAGING SOLUTIONS, USA
- As indoor takes root in the agriculture industry, how are produce-buyers and the fresh produce industry viewing the indoor farming space? Where do they see the biggest opportunities?
- What does this mean for the future of crop production? What do we predict the market share to look like between open-field, high-tech greenhouse, and vertical farms in the next 5-10 years?
- We are seeing the consolidation of growers/producers in the agriculture industry. Will this be the same for indoor further down the line? How is this contributing to inflation?
Vonnie Estes, VP of Innovation, IFPA, USA
Nate Storey, Co-Founder, PLENTY, USA
Abby Prior, Chief Commercial Officer, BRIGHTFARMS, USA
Jim DiMenna, President, RED SUN FARMS, CANADA
Matt Ryan, CEO, SOLI ORGANICS, USA
Whether joining us in-person or online, delegates will gather for an interactive and engaging discussion with their peers around a specific topic of choice to share knowledge, gather insights and identify future partners.
- Making Vertical Farming Stack Up: Balancing Commercial Viability for Growers
Host: Steve Gereb, Head of Operations for America, IGS, USA
- What Does an Intelligent Vertical Farm Look Like in 5 Years?
Host: Stephen Eaves, CEO & Co-Founder, VOLTSERVER, USA
- Bespoke Sustainable Packaging for Leafy Greens and Beyond
Host: Joost Somford, Senior VP, JASA PACKAGING SOLUTIONS, USA
- Growing Indoors – The Energy Conversation
Host: Jordan Miles, CEO, AGNETIX, USA
- Autonomous Indoor Growing: Options, Opportunities & Competition
Host: Jan Westra, Strategic Business Developer, PRIVA, THE NETHERLANDS
- Being Successful in Vertical Farming: From Start-Up to Scale-Up
Host: Ellis Janssen Van Boxtel, Global Director City Farming, SIGNIFY, THE NETHERLANDS
- Lighting Challenges in CEA
Host: Tessa Pocock, Chief Science Officer, SOLI ORGANICS, USA
- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Automation and AI in CEA
Host: Eric Adamson, Co-Founder & CEO, TORTUGA AGTECH, USA
- Sustainability & CEA: The Myth and the Reality
Host: Henry Gordon Smith, CEO, AGRITECTURE, USA
- Connecting Space-based R&D to the Terrestrial Commercial Market
Host: Mounir Alafrangy, Commercial Innovation Manager, Technology Lead, INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, USA
- Economies of Scale in Indoor Vertical Farming
Host: Henner Schwarz, Chief Commercial Officer, KALERA, GERMANY
- Lean Farming: How to be Profitable?
Host: Thomas Ambrosi, Co-Founder, ONO EXPONENTIAL FARMING, ITALY
- What does research data suggest about consumer attitudes towards greenhouse and vertical farming?
- What marketing messages resonate most with consumers when it comes to fresh produce?
- How is the story of indoor being communicated to the consumer?
- Is there a place for more meaningful category creation in CEA, both instore and online?
- What creative partnership ideas can farmers use, such as integrating with other local food producers, chefs and meal-kit companies? How do we bring products to consumers in a more personal way?
Darren Seifer, Executive Director, Food & Beverage, THE NPD GROUP, USA
Frances Dillard, VP Brand & Product Marketing, DRISCOLL’S, USA
Scott Crawford, Chief Merchandising Officer, FRESH DIRECT, USA
Kai Selterman, Chief Strategy Officer, MISFITS MARKET, USA
Tobias Peggs, CEO, SQUARE ROOTS, USA
- How are indoor growers adapting to the different types of supply-chain models between retail, food service, e-commerce, and D-C? Which is preferred by growers and why?
- How can indoor growers use predictive modelling to optimize their distribution and reduce food waste?
- With the impact of Covid-19 on city occupancy still evident, can empty building spaces be repurposed into farms, and how do commercial real estate investors see this opportunity?
- How can co-location with major distribution centres support the commercial success of indoor farms? Who is leading on this and what do future supply chain models look like?
- What do we predict the market share between outdoor, greenhouse and vertical to be in 5-10 years’ time?
- How do operators and buyers see the future of the industry based on the commercial success of indoor produce today?
- By when do we expect the industry to be profitable to the point where it is no longer questioned or debated?
- What will happen to the start-ups who are sitting on huge amounts of capital and valuations? By when are investors expecting their return on investment?
- How will we define who ‘the winners’ are?
Adam Bergman, Managing Director & Global Head of AgTech Investment Banking, CITI, USA
Craig Hurlbert, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, LOCAL BOUNTI, USA
Jason Green, CEO & Co-Founder, UPWARD FARMS, USA
Rajiv Singh, MD, Sustainable Food & Agriculture, COFRA HOLDING, USA