Nigel Wallbridge (Vivent), Mike Mastronardi (Ecoation) and Norm Janssen (Vivent) during installation at Horteca.
Ruthven, Ontario Canada and Gland, Switzerland: Ecoation, the international robotic and AI AgTech company, and Vivent, a pioneering AgTech company providing early warnings of many types of crop stress, are delighted to announce that they have signed a partnership agreement.
To further the partnership, Vivent has installed real-time crop sensors at HORTECA, the most advanced North American Horticultural Technology Center & Academy (HORTECA). The state of the art 2 acre Demonstration and R&D facility is located in Ruthven, Ontario, right in the heart of the biggest greenhouse production cluster in North America.
Equipped with the latest commercial growing technologies (AI controlled climate computers, air management technology, precision lighting, Ecoation’s AI & Robotic IPM forecasting and crop assessment solutions and now Vivent’s real-time crop sensors), the center will showcase advanced existing technologies in the market and also develop future platforms that address automation, labor shortages, quality management and residue-free production. Vivent’s plant and data scientists will work alongside Ecoation’s R&D team, JEM farms’ growing team and other experts, to optimize HORTECA’s operations.
Vivent’s biosensor installed in Horteca cucumber glasshouse
“We are looking forward to demonstrating how real-time alerts can help growers optimize climate conditions and diagnose pests and disease before visual symptoms appear, says Carrol Plummer, Co-Founder and CEO of Vivent. “Timely and improved scouting increases yields and improves fruit quality. Monitoring JEM’s crops in Horteca provides a great opportunity to investigate the influence that very high humidity in Ontario has on crop stress, especially in the summer,” she notes. “By combining data from Ecoation and Vivent with deep expert knowledge from JEM’s growers we will learn how to reduce crop stress within a few minutes of it occurring.”
“Controlled environment agriculture is the answer to the growing world population and climate change induced limitations that negatively affect the food supply chain,” states Dr. Saber Miresmailli, Founder and CEO of Ecoation, and Chairman of HORTECA. “There is no doubt that technology will play a prominent role in solving this very serious issue in the near future. Technology that is designed without the proper insight and influence of experts will not be successful at scale. The unique advantage of HORTECA is the deep practical and commercial knowledge of its founders and their proven track record of food production at scale.”
Paul J. Mastronardi, Director of JEM Farms and HORTECA President continues: “The horticultural industry is transforming and many solutions and technologies exist in the market with a diverse range of offerings and functionality claims. To properly test their capabilities, one must use them under commercial settings and conditions. HORTECA is built to provide that opportunity.” He continues: “The Center and Academy will generate knowledge and know-how along with technology platforms that can positively improve decision making and address major issues going forward.”
Upon completion of the initial demonstration trial, Vivent will present the results and findings with the grower community in Canada at an upcoming Ecoation Jamboree, an educational series designed by the Ecoation Academy that brings the latest technology information and knowledge to the horticultural community. In addition, Ecoation will also commercially distribute Vivent technology in North America through its expanded network.
“Canada has introduced many ground-breaking technologies and solutions to the world that positively impact the lives of millions of people; from Insulin, wheelchair accessible buses to peanut butter, says Dr. Miresmailli. “The country’s best minds are getting together in HORTECA to solve yet another major issue that impacts humanity as a whole: Clean, sustainable, and nutritious food production. We are bringing the best solutions from all over the world to HORTECA to test and demonstrate their capabilities and present factual information about them to the community.” says Dr. Miresmailli.
Vivent was founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneurs Carrol Plummer and Dr. Nigel Wallbridge, who have now applied their information processing and telecommunication system skills to biological information networking, with an initial focus on crop monitoring. The pair have worked with leading agricultural institutes, universities, crop protection companies and growers to validate this innovative approach. Many growers benefit from real-time crop stress alerts which helps increase yields and encourages environmentally preferable crop protection solutions. Vivent’s focus is on high-capital indoor growing operations as well as on high-value outdoor crops. More information is available at www.vivent.ch . Find Vivent on LinkedIn, Twitter
Established in 2010, Ecoation is an award-winning Canadian AgTech Service provider with a forecasting platform that provides actionable insights on IPM, crop balance and growth as well as yield and production metrics which helps growers multiply their success while having more control and visibility into their operations. With customers all over the world, ecoation is one of the fastest growing AgTech Companies in the Controlled Environment Agriculture sector.
About JEM Farms
JEM farms was started in 1985 by Jamie Mastronardi, and consists of a 50 acre greenhouse operation with supplemental lighting currently growing cucumbers, mini-cucumbers, tomatoes on the vine, beefsteak tomatoes, and organic grape tomatoes. At the farm, two acres are dedicated to an R&D facility. (HORTECA),