Join our challenge Autonomous greenhouses 2nd Edition: “Boost greenhouse vegetable production by artificial intelligence”

Published on
May 15, 2019

We would like to invite computer scientists and horticultural experts to form multidisciplinary teams to both challenge themselves as well as the state of the art in human operated greenhouse production in order to make a large step towards the Autonomous Greenhouse.

If the capabilities of an AI driven greenhouse can be demonstrated, it will imply a significant opportunity to drive horticultural productivity while reducing resource use and management complexity. AI might help us live healthier lives and make it possible to produce more vitamin rich food in greenhouses for growing human populations.

Join our challenge! Bring in your experience, knowledge and passion! Work in a multi-disciplinary team, come in contact with other world-wide experts! have fun!

What is the goal?


The goal of the challenge is to produce a cherry tomato crop within 6 months at a high level of production and a high resource use efficiency. For that, selected teams will get the possibility to operate a greenhouse compartment at the greenhouse facilities of WUR in Bleiswijk, The Netherlands. Teams need to achieve the goal by growing the crop remotely controlled, supported by measured values of greenhouse climate and crop development and also webcam footage. The teams will have to make choices with respect to the control settings in order to control the crop production and quality growth remotely. They can also add their own sensors/camera’s to generate additional information. Each team will be able to extract necessary data from the greenhouse compartment and couple it to their own ICT/models/machine learning algorithms in order to decide on the control settings for the next day/period. They will send the control settings back to the system (the greenhouse climate computer) in order to steer the actuators automatically or send instructions for crop handling in order to reach the goal. WUR will continuously measure performance criteria per compartment and share them with each team and the public.

Who can join?

We are looking for multi-disciplinary teams, combining the following expertise:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine learning/Sensor technology
  • Crop physiology/Horticulture/Crop Management/”Green Thumb”.

Participants can be students, scientists, start-ups and companies. Team have at least 3 members, from which at least one student. We encourage teams from different countries and continents to participate. Good English language skills are required.

Show your skills, enjoy a multi-disciplinary collaboration and have fun in an international setting of experts!

How to join?

In order to participate you will have to:

  1. Register your team and all individual members via the registration form.
  2. Provide an extended abstract with your team’s motivation for the challenge, your planned methodology including expected A.I. approach.
  3. Provide a description of your personal details, background and skills.
  4. Send a short smartphone video of your team.

All subscribed teams fulfilling the criteria will be invited to the pre-challenge Hackathon beginning of September to present your team, work on your strategy, show your skills and pitch your approach in front of an international jury of experts. The 5 best teams will be selected to participate in the Autonomous Greenhouse growing experiment, which will take place between December 2019– May 2020.

This challenge is sponsored by Tencent