Friday, 15 July 2022

Greenhouse automation winner hires chief business officer.

Team Koala, led by Koidra, an artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) - enabled industrial automation platform company, won the third edition of the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge (AGC) at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in Bleiswijk (NL). Team Koala was the only AI team that outperformed the Dutch reference growers, providing 27.8% more in net profit than the reference growers, along with the lowest operating cost. 

In this third edition of the competition, five international finalists were selected out of 43 teams from 23 countries. Each of the finalists grew a lettuce crop using a fully autonomous algorithm. The goal was to use the lowest feasible input of resources, such as energy and CO2, while producing the maximum number of good-quality heads of lettuce. Each team created their own AI algorithms to autonomously determine the set points for temperature, amount of daylight and artificial light, heating, and CO2 concentration—along with other cultivation-related parameters, such as crop density, spacing moments, and day of harvest.

Koidra’s founder, Kenneth Tran, led teams winning the first AGC competition in 2018, the online challenge in 2021, and the growing round of the third challenge in 2022. Seeing the potential of AIoT in transforming greenhouses, Kenneth launched Koidra with a mission to build an autonomous growing technology scalable across greenhouses, vertical farms, and crops—and more broadly across process-based manufacturing industries.

Soojung Smith
In an additional announcement the company has appointed Soojung Smith as their Chief Business Officer. Soojung Smith brings a wealth of strategy, sales & marketing, and operations experience in the U.S. and globally to Koidra in her new role as Chief Business Officer. Her experience includes time spent with AT&T as a Director of Marketing & Sales, and with the international consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as their Head of Strategy Consulting Unit, Southeast Asia Practice. During a 10-year tenure at Microsoft, Smith launched and scaled Office Cloud business and Office 365, and she led the global Enterprise sales group’s transformative change to cloud initiatives by building a new worldwide sales planning and operations team. She also founded two startups, while coaching startup founders and their leadership teams, providing an ideal base for her current position with Koidra.

She says, "I am thrilled about Koidra's mission to modernize industrial operations using the power of Deep Tech, A.I., IoT, which will bring higher efficiency, more savings, and full automation."

The AGC win, coupled with the hiring of Smith, provides impetus and a strong base for Koidra as it continues its growth not only in indoor farm automation, but also in the wider field of industrial automation.

@WURglas @WUR #koidra_ai #IoT #Agriculture

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