Last month the AVF hosted its 5-year Roadmap Event. The intent was to gather individuals and companies from across the spectrum of vertical farming to create an overarching action plan for the industry. There were representations from members of the AVF as well as newcomers from technology companies, investment firms, the science sector, university researchers and vertical farm owners.
The day began with a keynote speech from Chairwoman Christine Zimmermann Loessl entitled, “Taking Urban Agriculture to New Heights Around the World,” which discussed the current state of the industry and future opportunities. After lunch, attendants moved into design thinking groups:
- Industry and Technology
- Food in Future Resilient Cities
This rapidly-paced form of thinking is designed to elicit big ideas, which is exactly what happened over the next 3.5 hours.
The last highlight of that productive day was a keynote speech from AEssense Founder and CEO Robert I. Chen, on the Digital Transformation of Vertical Farms. Robert discussed fully leveraging digital technologies in all areas of a vertical farming business to deliver value to the consumer.
What can we take from this event?
The AVF has indexed these roadmaps (including all of the sticky notes) and will use them as the foundation for a more coherent strategy regarding the next five years in the industry.
On the basis of the first event, it will include:
- A heavy focus on standardization to be coordinated by AVF
- The creation of working concepts to be showcased via AVF
- Technology prototyping
- Data basing of success/failure case studies to be made available to all via AVF
- Locally-focused market research
- Focused policy advocacy and lobbying
- Refining of existing technologies
- A push for government incentivizing
- E-learning platforms to be integrated with public education
The AVF will replicate the design thinking approach at HortiChina in Shanghai Nov. 21st-23rd (registration will be open 10th of Oct.) to more fully develop the plan. Members will receive regular updates as the strategy evolves in the future. The AVF encourages you to share your ideas with them, whether you join the event or simply e-mail your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo from Plant Factory Tour after Hong Kong event