Allison Kopf

Allison Kopf is the founder and CEO of Agrilyst, the virtual agronomist powering the horticulture industry. Agrilyst won the highly coveted Disrupt Cup at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Kopf was named the 2016 Changemaker of the Year by the Association of Vertical Farming and Entrepreneur of theYear by Technical.ly Brooklyn. Prior to founding Agrilyst, she helped BrightFarms become one of the leading indoor agriculture companies in the US. Allison serves on the boards of Santa Clara University's Engineering School and Cornell University's Controlled Environment Agriculture program, and is a mentor with #BUILTBYGIRLS and Square Roots Grow. 


Robotics and Intelligent Systems for Horticulture
  Towards Horticulture Farms of the Future 

Prof. Jasper den Besten


Ir. Jasper den Besten (1956) graduated from Wageningen University in 1981 and started to work as a lecturer at HAS University of applied sciences, Den Bosch, The Netherlands (www.has.nl) as a lecturer in the horticulture course (plant breeding, plant physiology and (greenhouse) vegetable production) and at the moment is professor (Dutch lector) in new cultivation systems.

He has a lot of experience in education and applied research in plant breeding, plant physiology and its application in innovative cultivation systems including vertical farming as well as in education, training and coaching.He is a networker with an extended network within the horticultural education in Europe and some other parts of the world (mainly Asia), especially in vegetable production, vertical farming and plant breeding.


Ron Lemaire


Mr. Lemaire brings 25 years of extensive experience from a not-for-profit association perspective, with a focus on vertically integrated supply chains, advocacy, marketing/communications and food systems thinking.

The fresh produce world endeavours to keep one foot firmly planted in the soil and the other stepping aggressively into a world of fast-paced change, with technologies that meet consumer demands and expectations. For 17 years, Ron has witnessed these immense changes within the produce supply chain, some successful others less so.

In his role as President of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Ron works to represent the needs and interests of over 844 international and Canadian members to enhance the Canadian market and facilitate trade of fresh fruits and vegetables. Innovation plays a significant role in this mission.

Ron holds a combined Bachelor’s Degree from Carleton University in both Law and Sociology

Gerd Uitdewilligen


Gerd Uitdewilligen has been involved in international sales for high tech companies  for over 20 years. As Director of International Sales for Emerson Cargo Solutions, he helps promote the company’s technology solutions to monitor global cold chains. Emerson Cargo Solutions was recently formed via the acquisition of PakSense and LocusTraxxThis transaction extended Emerson's long-time presence and leadership in cold-chain management globally, helping customers improve food quality and safety, while reducing food waste worldwide.


Dick Verkade


Dick Verkade is GREEFA’s Manager Marketing & Sales. He is dedicated to providing customers state of the art, innovative and high tech sorting, grading and packing solutions for fruit and vegetables.

Verkade has a BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a devoted manager for a great many years now. He convinces not only his own people to stretch themselves but also convinces his customers to do so.

Besides his passion for sorting techniques and solutions, Dick Verkade also likes alpine climbing, sunny places and ice creams.


Tony Newling


Tony Newling is the Microsoft Industry Lead for Government in Asia.  Based in Singapore, Tony is responsible for the Microsoft Government Business (http://www.microsoft.com/government), with particular focus on Microsoft CityNext (http://www.microsoft.com/citynext) and Government regulation of Natural Resources including Agriculture.  In this role, Tony works with National, Regional, and City Government leaders; the Microsoft Public Sector field team; as well as Microsoft partners; to imagine and implement a better future for Asia’s citizens enabled by a pragmatic implementation of technology.  We do this by focusing on helping Governments optimize their operations, transform their services, empower their employees, and engage their citizens. 

Tony has been in the IT industry for 33 years, the last 13 at Microsoft.  Prior to Microsoft, Tony spent 18 years at IBM working in technical sales roles in Australia and the US.  Tony has skills in Systems and Solution Architecture, Service Oriented Architecture, Java and .NET development architectures.  He most enjoys helping customers find technology solutions to business problems.

Cindy Yin

Cindy Yin is the food industry engagement manager of GS1 Hong Kong. Cindy has been project plan, develop and market food products for manufacturers and international distributors. Cindy received a Bachelor of Science degree in food and nutrition from University of British Columbia, Canada and Master of Science degree in food safety management from University of Wales Institute – Cardiff, UK. 

Jörg Werner

More information on Jörg Werner will follow shortly.