Fifteen teams have registered to participate in the Autonomous Greenhouses challenge organised in the research greenhouses of the WUR in Bleiswijk by Wageningen University & Research this year. In total, the teams comprise 90 individuals representing 15 nationalities from across the globe.
Many teams include members who work for companies based outside of the Netherlands, such as Microsoft Research, Intel or Tencent, while others represent well-known names from Dutch horticulture, like Delphy, AgroEnergy, LetsGrow, Philips Lighting or Syngenta, or come from start-ups. The teams also include several breeders with lots of practical experience.
In general, the team members are experts in horticulture or artificial intelligence, or have a background in engineering or design. The number of BSc, MSc and PhD students is relatively high, and they represent a wide range of institutions, such as Seoul National University, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Humboldt University of Berlin, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, South China Agricultural University and, of course, WUR.
The following teams have registered to participate: A Team, AiCU, Huxley, B-Mex, Deep Greens/UNAM, greenHU, iGrow, Modo, SNUPHPF, Sonoma, South China Future AG, The Croperators, The new (cu)cumbers, We Grow and Young Data Driven Growers.
On 31 May and 1 June, the 15 teams will take part in the pre-challenge: a 24-hour hackathon. Based on the results, an international jury will shortlist five teams to go through to the next round. This will involve breeding cucumbers remotely in a dedicated greenhouse section at the WUR in Bleiswijk using intelligent algorithms, models and sensors, with as little human interference as possible,
The challenge is sponsored by Tencent, a leading provider of internet services in China, and David Wallerstein, CXO of Tencent.