NL: Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge continues with Hackathon on 6 and 7 June

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The Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge Hackathon event will take place on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June. This event, organized by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Tencent, will be held both on site in Bleiswijk (the Netherlands) and online, making it accessible to a global audience.

About the Challenge
From September to December 2024, five international teams will have a greenhouse compartment at the location of Wageningen University & Research in Bleiswijk. These teams, from Asia, Europe and North America, are tasked to autonomously grow a dwarf tomato crop. The goal is to achieve high yields and quality with most sustainable use of resources, such as energy. The winning team will be announced in early January 2025.

Of the 23 registered teams from all over the world, the best five were selected through an Online Challenge that took place on May 31. During the Hackathon on June 6 and 7, participating teams can earn extra points.

Virtual cultivation of dwarf tomatoes
In the Online Challenge, teams had to detect dwarf tomato plants using computer vision and grow virtual dwarf tomatoes in a simulated greenhouse environment provided by WUR. During the Hackathon, teams are given 5 hours to complete an additional task. Each team will also present their successful approach to the jury and explain why they should belong to the top five teams. The winners will be announced during the Hackathon. The five teams with the highest cumulative points will grow real dwarf tomatoes in their own greenhouse compartment in Bleiswijk fully autonomously this autumn.

Hybrid Event
The Hackathon event will be held in a hybrid format, allowing for both physical and virtual participation. This also means that you can follow the event online anywhere in the world. Watch the event here.

Various participants
More than 200 participants from 24 different nationalities are taking part in the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge. They include professionals from the horticultural sector, start-ups, large companies and countless BSc, MSc and PhD students and researchers from various universities. The teams bring together expertise in both horticulture and artificial intelligence.

Contribute to innovation
By promoting innovation and collaboration between international experts, the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge aims to improve the efficiency and sustainability of greenhouse cultivation. The event offers a unique opportunity to learn more about advanced techniques in horticulture and artificial intelligence, and how these are applied to make food production more sustainable. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the boundaries of agricultural technology and see how the future of food production is taking shape.

Hackathon program
Thursday 6 June, 10:00-11:30 CET, Opening seminar (public broadcast via our YouTube channel ):

10:00 Welcome @WUR by Silke Hemming, WUR (moderator), thanks to all sponsors
10:05 Opening by alderman municipality Lansingerland Mr. Wethouder Simon Fortuyn, the importance of sustainability and innovations
10:15 Introduction earlier results by jury (Kathy Steppe, UGent), intro all jury members
10:30 Introduction of teams part 1 (Pinglin Zhang, WUR)
10:45 Introduction of the event, goal, rules (Stef Maree, WUR)
11:00 Introduction of teams part 2 (Pinglin Zhang, WUR)
11:10 Introduction “Additional task” (Bart van Marrewijk, WUR)
11:20 Q&A

Closing remarks (Silke Hemming, moderator)

Friday 7 June, 12:00-14:00 CET:

The pre-challenge has ended, there is lunch together, the opportunity to ask the teams about their experiences.

Friday 7 June, 14:00-15:30 CET, Winning ceremony (public broadcast)

14:00 Welcome back @WUR by Silke Hemming, WUR (moderator)
14:05 Summary of the event (what was it, intermediate results, pictures) by organizers (WUR)
14:20 Discussion panel with sponsors incl. Q&A (Silke Hemmig, moderator) “The future of Autonomous greenhouse growing” Participants: jury members, Jaap Weerheim (Certhon), Theo Tekstra (Fluence)
14:40 Jury criteria and procedure (Head of Jury, Kathy Steppe, UGent)
14:45 Overview participating teams, feedback by jury members towards all participating teams (all jury members)
15:05 Announcement of 5 winning teams for growing experiment by jury (Head of Jury)
15:25 Next steps by organizers (WUR)
15:30 Closing remarks (Silke Hemming, moderator)


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