Peter Kruger - Startupbootcamp Food Tech
Peter Kruger, CEO and founder of Startupbootcamp Foodtech and eZecute, is an entrepreneur and advisor with 20+ years experience in the IT and digital industries. His experience ranges from operating as executive manager, board member and CEO for companies such as RAI, Kataweb, Tiscali, Postecom, Terra News. He also operates as consultant, advisor and board member for Investment funds and Government bodies. With a Master in Science degree in Theoretical Physics, he combines a strong technological background with solid business and financial expertise. Active business angel, mentor, public speaker, regularly reporting in the Italian press.
Artificial Intelligence Applications
Guillermo Christen - Logameal
What I Learned From Looking at a Million Pictures of Food
Improving your diet starts with becoming aware of what you eat, and that is a lot harder than it seems. A deep dive into why it’s so difficult to teach a machine to recognise food, and why you would even want to do it.
Guillermo Christen is co-founder and CEO of Logameal, an app that helps people develop and maintain healthier eating habits by making it easy to track what they eat – just by taking a photo of their meals.
Before starting Logameal, he most recently led product and technology at two machine learning startups. TV Genius (acquired in 2011) and Intent HQ (very large scale predictive analytics). Guillermo has consistently been interested in exploring the space where machine intelligence meets engaging product experiences.
Nick Holzherr - Whisk.com
Data-Driven Food Recommendations
A behind-the-scenes glimpse into The Food Genome™ and how Whisk maps food relationships with data on nutrition, price, flavour, and other properties. With a team highly advanced in natural language processing, Whisk uses NLP and ontologies of food to understand recipes and then machine learning to personalise recommendations based upon an individual’s food preferences, recipe content they save, and groceries they buy.
Nick Holzherr is founder and CEO of Whisk.com, a path-to-purchase technology startup that makes all online content -- recipe pages, video, display, search or social campaigns -- shoppable on any platform. Since Whisk’s launch in 2012, the startup has partnered with many of the UK's biggest retailers, FMCG brands and digital food publishers. Nick raised venture capital to fund Whisk after pitching the initial idea to Lord Sugar at the final of BBC The Apprentice 2012. Nick has been awarded Business Insider’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, PPA Digital’s “Newcomer of the Year,” The Drum’s "One to Watch,” and The Grocer’s "Top New Talent". He is a frequent industry speaker and has been featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC, Internet Retailing, Management Today, Food Manufacturer and The Next Web. Prior to Whisk.com, Nick founded two successful start-ups after graduating with a 1st in International Business from Aston University.
Florian Pinel - IBM Chef Watson
Can computers be creative?
Meet Chef Watson. Aimed at adventurous cooks, Chef Watson is a cognitive computing application revolutionizing how people combine ingredients to create unique dishes with novel flavors.
Even the best chefs build flavor profiles with only two or three ingredients at a time. After sifting through one quintillion ingredient combinations, Chef Watson considers thousands simultaneously. As a cognitive system, it learns from human expertise and extends what people can do on their own. Chef Watson read 10,000 recipes from the chefs at Bon Appétit to understand how ingredients are used in cuisines and dishes and, for example, what makes a soup different from a burrito. Then, it added an understanding of food chemistry and the psychology of people’s taste likes and dislikes. With as little as one user-selected ingredient, Chef Watson can suggest a totally unique flavor profile, measurements, and preparation steps for a dish.
Florian Pinel is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the IBM Watson Group. He received a M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris in France, and a Culinary Arts diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. Before joining the Watson Group, Florian worked at the IBM Watson Research Center for fifteen years, focusing on Business Process Management, IT Services Management, and Software as a Service. He's currently the lead engineer for IBM Chef Watson (www.ibmchefwatson.com), an application that uses machine learning and natural language processing to demonstrate computational creativity and suggest original recipe ideas. He also writes a blog about Eastern European cuisine, Food Perestroika (www.foodperestroika.com).
Disrupting Food Production
Panel: Urban Farming
Jonathan Lodge - City Farm Systems
Jonathan started his career with a degree in Design Technology. After finding the south east was too expensive to run a manufacturing business that was too small to be big but too big to be small he moved into the accounting world. Building on the experience of running a small business he used his knowledge in many interim roles in some major organisations. He gained international recognition at Avery Dennison for creating the process to move inter-company accountant roles into a new Europe wide shared services. Moving into the public sector Jonathan was regularly head-hunted for interim roles in the NHS and as Interim Business Manager for the Thames Valley Police Training College. Here Jonathan also project managed the creation of the training program for PCSOs –that was later adopted throughout the country.
It was on a winter’s night trip home from this last role when he became stuck in traffic behind a supermarket lorry – only yards from the store it was trying to get to. Finding the shelves inside were empty (no doubt because the lorry should have arrived much sooner) the thinking began. That was the easy bit – the development path has been long and difficult with the need to create a new business model. Having met most of the internationally recognised leaders in the Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture field Jonathan has been encouraged that his research brings together the thinking of those that seek to maximise production whilst reducing costly inputs.
This research has lead to the filing of a patent, recognition as a winning concept by the RBS Innovation Gateway, a finalist in the 2degrees Champion Awards and winning an Entrepreneurial Spark Special Merit award.
Jens Thomas - Farm Urban
Farm Urban are a social enterprise who use aquaponics to engage and inspire people to connect with their environment, explore their relationship with food, and empower them to make positive and informed choices about their lives.
Over the past two years Farm Urban has engaged over 100,000 people, designed developed and delivered bespoke aquaponic systems for the University of Liverpool, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC and Ness Botanical Gardens, and developed an educational program that has placed aquaponics systems in schools throughout Merseyside.
Jens Thomas is a co-founder of Farm Urban and computational bioscientist at the University of Liverpool.
Mark Horler - Association of Vertical Farming
Mark became interested in Vertical Farming around 4 years ago, especially in its potential for revitalising run down areas in a genuinely sustainable way. He spent the next two years travelling around the UK, talking to experts and examining a variety of projects. In the end this resulted in a book and then a campaign, both known as Regrowth. From there, he made contact with the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) and was subsequently invited to take on the role of UK Regional Manager. He is currently building networks of businesses, institutions and individuals in the VF movement across the UK.
Peter Blezard - Azotic Technologies
The Green Nitrogen Revolution
Azotic Technologies has developed a natural nitrogen technology (N-Fix®) that provides a sustainable solution to fertiliser overuse. This unique technology provides plants with the ability to fix approximately 50% of their nitrogen needs from the air thereby reducing the dependency on nitrogen based fertilisers.
N-Fix® improves agricultural productivity as well as reducing nitrogen fertiliser usage. It is based on a natural food grade bacterium which is derived from sugarcane. This environmentally friendly bacterium converts atmospheric nitrogen into a form that the plant can use.
Sustainable agriculture needs biological nitrogen fixation at a time when more food is needed to feed an increasing population.
Peter is responsible for commercial issues, business development and sales. His prime objectives are to successfully commercialise N-Fix and achieve Azotic’s corporate milestones.
Peter has extensive experience in pioneering new products into new markets and in working with major companies on a global basis at board level. He has a strategic focus on new technologies for sustainable agriculture. He is highly experienced in pioneering products into new markets.
Panel: Connecting Farmers
Kenny Ewan - WeFarm
An experienced start-up CEO, team leader, and innovative thinker. Professional experience includes founding and leading WeFarm, the award winning social enterprise, tech start-up; Directing the operations of an international NGO across 4 countries; and designing and managing multiple, diverse projects with indigenous communities in Africa and Latin America.
Gonzalo Urculo - Naranjas Del Carmen
Knowing where your fruits and vegetables are coming from, 100% ecological cultivation and a delivery directly to your front door without any intermediaries – Naranjas del Carmen makes it possible. Gonzalo Úrculo graduated in economies and later turned his passion for agriculture into his profession. The story began in 2010, when he founded together with his brother Gabriel Naranjas del Carmen. By combining agriculture with e-commerce, they are selling freshly picked oranges, mandarins and other seasonal fruits directly from their grandfather’s plantation in Valencia to households in 16 European countries. With the launch of CROWDFARMING, the next chapter was opened in December 2015. Now, their clients have the possibility to become farmers 2.0. In only four months they were able to plant almost 900 trees in the names of their customers and thereby make together with them an important contribution to the reduction of food waste. Additionally to this, Gonzalo Úrculo just recently co-founded GROW and HELP, whose mission is to support the cultivation of fruits and vegetables in gardens of private households using artificial intelligence.
Carolin Goethel - Food Assembly
Carolin Goethel oversees The Food Assembly’s producer network in the UK. She supports farmers and food makers in using the Food Assembly platform to sell directly to customers. Carolin is interested in how technology can lead social innovation in the food sector and more widely. Her background in postcolonial studies combined with her woofing experience have shaped her desire to work towards establishing a fairer and more sustainable food system.
Nigel Akehurst - Farmerama
Nigel Akehurst is one third of Farmerama - a podcast sharing the voices of smaller scale farmers in the UK and beyond. Each month Farmerama beautifully weave together a collection of anecdotes and experiments from the front line of farming, from making biochar for the soil, to innovative small-scale business models. We capture people talking about the ‘nitty gritty’ of their project – what they are doing and what works or doesn’t work, what makes their actions different and maybe what they wish they could do, or how other people could get involved.
Nigel is also a farmer's son and creative entrepreneur who setup IndieFarmer, an online magazine about food, farming and culture – Nigel now spends most of his time out in the fields of East Sussex as he is a beginner farmer himself.
Fireside Chat: Hacking Food Waste
Marc Zornes - Winnow
Winnow is a tech start-up fighting food waste in the hospitality sector. We believe that food is too valuable to waste, and that technology can transform the way we prepare food.
Since 2013, Winnow’s technology has helped 200 kitchens save over £2m by cutting food waste in half. Winnow is now scaling internationally with multinational catering and hotel clients.
Before Winnow, Marc worked at McKinsey where he was a leader in the consumer and sustainability practices as well as holding senior positions at the US Green Building Council and C&S Wholesale Grocers - the largest food wholesaler in the United States.
Solveiga Pakstaite - Design By Sol
Solveiga Pakštaitė is a designer who specialises in user-centred and sustainable design and is passionate about creating elegant, intuitive and beautiful products that improve the quality of our everyday lives.
She is the inventor of Bump Mark, a patent-pending food expiry labelling innovation that she designed at Brunel University and is now being developed at the Central Research Laboratory by Solveiga's company, Design By Sol. It is a bio-responsive food expiry label that is calibrated to experience decay at the same rate as the food it is labelling and provide accurate, real-time indication of the product’s freshness. The solution is set to dramatically cut food waste.
Her innovation in the food packaging industry has been recognised and has won multiple awards. Solveiga is pioneering within the active and intelligent packaging space and is paving the way for intelligent management of resources through access to bio-accurate data.
Trewin Restorick - Hubbub UK
Trewin Restorick is Founder and CEO of the charity Hubbub UK www.hubbub.org.uk which aims to revolutionise the way environmental messages are communicated by bringing people and organisations together as a force for good. He is also Chair of Student Hubs.
Previously Trewin created Global Action Plan the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity which he set up in 1993. As CEO, Trewin developed award winning partnerships with BskyB, Barts NHS Trust and EON and developed successful initiatives in schools and communities. Trewin is a frequent media commentator on environmental issues and was trained by Al Gore as one of his climate change ambassadors.
Niccolo Manzoni - Coller Capital
Niccolo is currently working across Coller Capital and Jeremy Coller’s family office. At Coller Capital he is part of the Office of the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, working on board level matters and investment strategy. As part of the family office, he invests across venture, public equities and real estate. In 2014, he developed a passion for Food Tech venture investing and has become one of the leading European investors in the space.
Previously, he was Project Manager at Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), focusing on healthcare, consumer and industrial goods, across strategic marketing and organisation projects. Prior to that, he worked as part of the McKinsey & Co. Management Matters initiative on management best practices and their impact on productivity and efficiency in the public (healthcare and education) and private (manufacturing) sector.
Niccolo holds a BSc from Bocconi University and an MSc from the London School of Economics and Peking University.
Sandra Forstner - BioZoon
Personalised Food for an Ageing Society
Many diseases, including dementia, dysphagia and some cancers, inhibit the ability to eat, leading to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition. In the past the only alternative for these patients has been porridge-like food that’s unappetising and – for many – depressing. Sandra Forstner will reveal how Smoothfood changes all by combining classical cooking techniques with the latest food texturing systems to create foods that anyone can eat and will brief us further on the next stage in Smoothfood’s evolution – the application of 3D printing ‘on demand’ that matches the nutritional requirements of each patient.
Sandra Forstner works as a project manager within Strategic Research in Biozoon. She holds a BSc in food technology focusing on functional food and ingredients. From her combined experience in academia and industry, she has gained professional know-how within food ingredients and processing technologies complemented by successful management, both as a participant and as coordinator of several European and national RTD projects. Within the projects, she currently focuses on the research and development of personalised nutrition for the frail and elderly.
Abi Glencross - King's College London
Diary of a Cell Farmer
Do we really know where our animal products come from? The mince in our meatballs? The lamb in our stew? Join cellular agriculture researcher Abi Aspen Glencross on a journey which will unearth the origins of animal agriculture and its impact on our world. Learn more about the cultured steak project and discover the true potential of creating food from cell culture, rather than animals, as we deconstruct meat and reconstruct it from scratch, one cell at a time...
Abi Glencross is a PhD student studying cellular agriculture in the Tissue Engineering & Biphotonics department at King’s College. Her specific research focuses on creating thick muscle tissue to produce a steak. Cellular Agriculture is an academic discipline that focuses on the farming of agricultural products from cells rather than plants or animals. Her thesis advisors are Lucy Di-Silvio's of King’s College, UK and Mark Post of Maastricht University, NL. Her research is funded by the US charity New Harvest which supports cellular agricultural projects around the world. Abi graduated with a MEng Chemical Engineering from the University of Bath in 2014. She now lives in London.
Ian Hales - Bristol Robotics Lab
From Cows to Crops: Computer Vision for Precision Agriculture
Recent technological advances have allowed a step-change in the way the farmers, agronomists and plant breeders can gather and analyse data, including automated livestock welfare management, precision weed control and measurement of phenotypic traits in plants, allowing greater yields for fewer inputs (feed, agro-chemicals, etc.). Central to many of these systems is the concept of “Computer Vision”, the process of analysing images or videos to automatically obtain meaningful measurements, without the need for manual intervention. This talk will discuss some such systems and how they directly benefit the agricultural and plant science community, using real-world, state-of-the-art examples currently under development.
Ian obtained a PhD from the University of Leeds on the topic of 3D reconstruction in unconstrained pedestrian scenes. He moved to the BRL in 2014 and has since developed significant experience in 3D image capture and analysis, primarily in the Agri-Tech sector. In this vein, he has pioneered the development of several techniques for plant recognition, including in the field of precision agriculture, where he developed a system for automated weed detection in maize crops at real-world speeds and extremely high resolution compared to existing techniques. He has performed investigations into how the cost of this technology can be reduced to allow penetration into new areas of research, with particular application to plant phenotyping.
His work tends to venture outside of the laboratory and into the real-world and he has recently published work on 3D surface reconstruction at extremely long distance and in bright sunlight by exploiting novel sensor technologies in combination with state-of-the-art computer vision techniques.
His most recent project is the development of a system for automated health and welfare management in dairy cattle, again taking advantage of the wealth of rich data that can be garnered from 3D imagery to take measure traits affected by lameness and condition, with the aim of detecting them early and preventing unnecessary suffering, whilst also maximising milk yield.
His key research interests lie in structure-from-motion techniques and 3D morphological analysis for agriculture with application to weed control, fine-grained 3D analysis for phenotyping and plant deficiency monitoring.
Jake Norman - OAL
How will robotics and automation change food processing?
Food manufacturing is presented with a perfect storm driven by the living wage; flat line productivity and food deflation. Advanced technology and robotics can address these issues yet the UK is seriously lagging the developed world in its implementation, China buys 70 robots for every 1 bought in the UK!
OAL have been working with the University of Lincoln to develop APRIL, a robotic chef that allows users to scale up how chefs prepare restaurant food using flexible robotic cells. APRIL links proven state of the art cooking and materials handling technologies with automated robotic ingredient loading. A full-scale demonstration system is installed at the University's National Centre for Food Manufacturing.
Jake Norman started working at OAL after graduating from the University of Bristol with a degree in Economics & Management. Having previously worked for Deloitte in both Audit and Consultancy streams, he recognised that he could make the biggest impact in an innovative SME.
Passionate about improving food, Jake has been heavily involved with OAL’s two £1million UK government funded Innovate UK projects seeking to improve the cooking (steam infusion) and cooling of food products (cryogenic cooling). Their latest innovation is APRIL, a robotic chefs that links technologies to disrupt the way we manufacture food.
Alessandro Incisa - Makr Shakr
Your Drinks with a Splash of Robotics
Since ancient human history, people have always urge to to experiment, innovate and create – technology was one of the product of such instinct. At Makr Shakr we aim at studying the way in which technology can change the way people interacts in every day’s life. Makr Shakr was conceived as a social experiment that looks at how people might embrace the new possibilities offered by digital manufacturing. We consider it like a research platform on the so-called third industrial revolution and its consequences: an example of how digital technologies are changing the interaction between people and products. The system explores the new dynamics of social creation and consumption - ‘design, make and enjoy’ - allowing users to design their own cocktail creations, while digitally controlled machines transform these designs into reality.
Alessandro graduated in Industrial Engineering (M.Sc. Honors) from the Politecnico di Torino and Project Management (M.Sc. Distinction) from Queensland University of Technology. He gained a fast-track experience working in China, Italy, and the Middle East, focusing in strategic, production and operational management areas. Alessandro’s professional passion pivots on the development and implementation of innovative technologies and the achievement of management and engineering excellence through the application of Lean principles. He is also actively involved in research, investigating the development of Lean Manufacturing across multiple sectors. Passionate about exploring the world, Alessandro has an incessant curiosity in gaining new knowledge. Since 2012, Alessandro has joined the universe of robotics as Makr Shakr Project Manager, developing new ways in which industrial machines can be applied to everyday life. His goal is to study and redefine the interaction between people and new technologies.
Nahuel Lavino - Pycno
Precision Agriculture: Sensors & BigData
Farmers today have no empirical data of the situation of their fields and depend mostly on previous experience to make decisions putting Agriculture as one of the most outdated yet essential markets today. With the increase in population, food demand and scarcity of resources, there is a a lot of pressure on farmers to produce more. Using sensors, analytics and data science, this presentation can show you how by having detailed information from your fields will help you make better informed decisions, reducing the amount of resources while increasing the quality and quantity of your crops.
Born in a farm in Argentina, Nahuel learnt first hand how to manage a farm. Once he grew up, he moved to Europe where he studied robotics and mechatronics. Today, he fused his passion of technology and making the world a better place with his first love, agriculture, to tackle one of the biggest problems of the 21st century: Food Security
Felipe Hernández - Hexagro
Hexagro Urban Farming Systems
A resilient, sustainable and autonomous farming for accessing healthy food locally
Groundless agriculture is a great way to grow clean food in urban areas but sometimes spaces are too small, maintenance may require too much time and be difficult for a non-experienced user. Could a product-service system design allow the maximization of profit and wealth creation satisfying unmet social needs as the access to healthy food?
Colombian-Costa Rican entrepreneur and Industrial Designer Felipe Hernández is finishing his master's degree studies at Politecnico di Milano in Italy but currently working in Germany. He developed Hexagro, an ambitious project that offers social benefits with a real business opportunity for its costumers. This project is based on biomimicry methodologies to address the problem of accessibility to healthy food and is a finalist of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge 2015.
Felipe and his multi-disciplinary team are applying the latest technology and tendences in design as additive manufacturing and biomimicry-thinking to reach a social, economical and environmental solution towards global warming and a rising global polulation.
CONVERSATION & DRINKS