Agri Tech Innovation Speakers & Tour

18th November 2023

Saturday, November 18 join ACARN for a day of professional development at the SFU Surrey campus featuring innovators in the BC agri-tech sector.

  • 8am-12pm: Speakers leading agri-tech sector development & research

  • 1-5:30pm: Bus tour to three Fraser Valley agri-tech companies

  • 6-8pm: Networking reception hosted by the BC Institute of Agrologists Vancouver and Fraser Valley branches

Attendance is capped at 80 people, get your tickets now. Event tickets include breakfast, lunch, speakers and bus tour. A seperate ticket is required for the BCIA reception – get your ticket here.

Register now


Morning Program

Registration, meals and speakers will take place at the SFU Surrey Campus (13450 102 Ave), Room 5240

8:00 – Breakfast and registration

8:40 – Introductions & Welcome, Shauna MacKinnon, BC Agriculture and Climate Action Research Network and Laila Benkrima, BC Centre for Agritech Innovation

8:50 – Development and application of 3D printed sensors in agriculture, Woo Soo Kim, SFU Mechatronic

9:20 – Soil analysis powered by machine learning and spectroscopy, Austin Rothwell, MirraTerra

9:50 – Cloud-based data analytics platform for agricultureJonathan McIntyre, i-Open Technologies

10:20 – Break

10:30 – Application of remote sensing in crop and land management, Bing Lu, SFU

11:00 – Yeast-based biopesticide, Erin Gilchrist, Renaissance

11:30 – Climate-smart fertilizer to deliver micro-nutrients, Farah Nourmohammadian, Lucent Bioscience

12:00 – Lunch

12:45 – Board buses

Afternoon Program

For the afternoon site visits participants will be split into 3 buses. Each bus will rotate through the 3 sites.

1-5:30pm – Agri-tech bus tour

Tour site hosts

Bus 1 schedule

Bus 2 schedule

Bus 3 schedule

Argus Control, Geoff Crocker

18445 53 Ave #101, Surrey

1:30 – 2:30 pm

4:30 – 5:30 pm

3:00 – 4:00 pm

FarmAnywhere, Gabriel Zarafonitis
7296 Wilson Ave, Delta

3:00 – 4:00 pm

1:30 – 2:30 pm

4:30 – 5:30 pm

ONT Holdings, Raymond Lee
21770 Maxwell Cres, Langley

4:30 – 5:30 pm

3:00 – 4:00 pm

1:30 – 2:30 pm

Evening Program

The BC Institute of Agrologists’ networking reception will take place from 6-8pm at the SFU Surrey Campus SRYC 2740 Lecture Room (room finder). Please note that separate registration is required.

Speaker bios

Woo Soo Kim
Professor, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, Simon Fraser University Scientific Director, BC Centre for Agritech Innovation
Dr. Woo Soo Kim is Professor in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Scientific Director at B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation. Prior to SFU, he spent two years as a Senior Research Scientist at Xerox Corporation and as a Post-doctoral Associate at MIT. He's an editorial board member for multiple IEEE journals that focus on printed and flexible electronics and advanced sensor research. Dr. Kim is actively engaged in agricultural networks, serving on the steering committee of B.C. Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network, and as a member of Surrey’s Agriculture and Food Policy Advisory Committee. His research focuses on the engineering aspect of Advanced 3D printing for diverse sensing applications.
Austin Rothwell
Machine Learning Manager, Miraterra
Austin Rothwell is the Machine Learning Manager at Miraterra, a startup focused on revolutionizing soil measurement. Austin brings his expertise in machine learning, signal processing, and software engineering to support the development of a novel sensor capable of delivering accurate, fast, and affordable soil testing results.
Jonathon McIntyre
Chief Technology Officer, i-Open Technology
Jonathon is a Geographer and Chief Technology Officer for the i-Open Group and has worked with spatial data and data integration for over 30 years. He has worked across multiple industries including natural resources, utilities, municipal, and real Estate with a focus on spatial data access and integration. Recently, he and his team have been part of the Standard Data Platform for Autonomous Agriculture team at the Digital Technology Supercluster. During this time, they have worked with the consortium to provide a data platform (Agrilyze) to industry and academics that allows data collection, access, aggregation, anonymization, mapping, analysis of varied data sources in a simple, secure, and easily accessible way. They continue to look for ways to support growers to leverage existing data or incorporate new data in easier more, cost effective ways while focusing on data security, ethical use, and interoperability.
Bing Lu
Assistant Professor, Geography, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Bing Lu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. His research is focused on remote sensing (e.g., drone- and satellite-based imaging) and its applications in ecosystem monitoring. He has been trying to use remote sensing as an Agritech for evaluating crop health and soil health and investigating the impacts of climate change and extreme events (e.g., heatwave, flooding).
Erin Gilchrist
Manager, Scientific Affairs, Renaissance BioScience
Erin Gilchrist is the Manager of Scientific Affairs at Renaissance BioScience, a biotechnology company that specializes in creating yeast-based solutions to agricultural challenges. She has a Ph. D. in Biology from UBC, and over 20 years’ experience developing and advising on projects related to biotechnology, genetics, and crop genomics. At Renaissance BioScience, she coordinates cross-functional projects in R&D, operations, and commercial areas, assisting with the innovation pipeline of their RNAi-based biopesticides. Prior to her position at Renaissance, Dr. Gilchrist was Senior Scientist at Anandia Labs, where she established their cannabis cultivation operation and laboratory testing facilities.
Farah Nour
Chief Science Officer, Lucent Bioscience
Farah is a motivated, determined, and innovative scientist working towards creating a more sustainable future in the agricultural sector. Farah is an AgriTech Expert, leading research groups for 20+ years with a successful history of competitive, grant-winning, multimillion-dollar research projects and fruitful development of novel patented clean technologies. She has had a long-tenured career as a professor and faculty member and has a Ph.D. in chemistry and material science.

Register now

Partners and funding support

This event is hosted by the BC Agricutural Climate Action Research Network with support from the training and upskilling program of the BC Centre for Agritech Innovation and funding provided by Pacific Economic Development Canada and BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development, and Innovation. 

The evening reception is hosted by the BC Institute of Agrologists Fraser Valley and Vancouver branches.