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Agriculture & Aquaculture:  The Newest Emerging Technology Sector

Wednesday – November 28, 2018  •  9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Universities at Shady Grove – Building II (campus map)
9630 Gudelsky Drive – Rockville, MD 20850

ATTENDANCE IS FREE  (includes lunch)

Technology has always been a major contributing factor in how our lives are led. Advancements in agricultural and aquaculture technology are changing how we grow our food and manage its production, distribution, and consumption. The ultimate goal of technology in agriculture and aquaculture is to increase yields, slash harvest times, reduce waste, and ultimately reduce costs and environmental impact.

The purpose of F³ Tech Symposiums is to serve as a tool for engaging industry into the innovation ecosystem.  These one-day events include a broad outreach among entrepreneurs, innovators, farmers, watermen, environmentalists, industry, investors, service providers, government agencies, and academic and research institutions.  The purpose is to advance awareness and an open dialogue with stakeholders about agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental technologies, to foster partnerships and relationships, and to create a shared understanding of what the market and industry needs and explore opportunities for creating value and impact from the F³ Tech sector and be an ongoing tool for sustaining and growing an industry-led incubation ecosystem.  Symposiums are held quarterly, rotating among the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, and the Baltimore/DC corridor.


(updates made when confirmed)

9:00 a.m.

Registration and Refreshments

9:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:45 a.m.

Orientation on F³ Tech Initiative - F³ Tech (Farm-Fish-Food) is a statewide private/public initiative that is creating a new renaissance of economic growth and prosperity through innovation and technology which is built upon Maryland’s traditional industries of agriculture and seafood. The overall program is a pipeline of three components through which entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, and existing businesses go through the proof-of-concept and commercialization of new product and service ideas and innovations. The initiative includes partners and resources from throughout Maryland.
Presenters:  Mike Thielke - Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center, Easton, MD
                          Andrew Rose - MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Bel Air, MD
                          Tommy Luginbill - College of Southern Maryland, LaPlata, MD

10:30 a.m.

Session 1: Finding Value in Ag Tech: Promise, Profit, and Pitfalls
Presenter: Aaron Ault, Senior Research Engineer for the Open Ag Technology Group at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN

11:30 a.m.

Session 2: Presentation on Aquaculture Technology
Presenter: To be advised

12:30 p.m.

Lunch & Table Top Discussions (Round 1) - Three main categories consisting of multiple topics for attendees to share and learn. Subject matter experts will be available to assist with discussions.

  • Animal/Fish Data - provides software and hardware specifically aimed at better understanding livestock/fish, from breeding to genomics
  • Aquaculture/Aquaculture Data Mining & Data Management - transforming aquaculture data into valuable knowledge and using it to improve business performance, benchmarking performance, optimizing feed, advancing management strategies and increasing profitability
  • Plant Data & Analytics - getting more granular data about plant composition (microbial makeup, genetic expression, etc) and/or analyzing that data to improve seed research & development and breeding
  • Precision Agriculture & Predictive Analytics - that focus on using big data and predictive analytics to address farm-related issues and make better farm-related decisions in order to save energy, increase efficiency, optimize herbicide and pesticide application and manage risk, among other uses
  • Farm Management Software - that allows farmers and growers to more efficiently manage their resources, crop/fish production, farm animals, etc.
  • NextGen Farms - that utilizes technology to provide alternative farming methods to enable farming in locations and settings that cannot support traditional farming
  • Smart Irrigation - systems that help monitor and automate water usage for farms using various data exhausts
  • Water Quality - applying new tools and approaches to help solve challenges in water quality, quantity, reliability, and affordability
  • Robotics & Drones - that cater to agricultural needs as well as robotics or intelligent farm machines that perform various farm functions
  • Sensors - smart sensors that collect data and help farmers and growers monitor crop/fish health, weather, and soil/water quality
  • Marketplaces - relevant to agriculture/aquaculture by connecting farmers/growers directly to suppliers or consumers without any middlemen. While some are e-commerce platforms, others use tech to facilitate physical marketplaces
  • Compliance & 3rd Party Certifications - in response to the multiple certifications and varied compliance regimens for vendors/suppliers throughout the food cycle industry, thoughts for a centralized database for industry and consumers
  • Rural/Urban Collaboration - in pursuit of developing a framework that improves collaboration between rural and urban startup and innovation ecosystems throughout Maryland

1:15 p.m.

Lunch & Table Top Discussions (Round 2) - A repeat of the above topics allowing for attendees to participate in multiple discussions.

2:00 p.m.

Investor Panel Session - Agritech and aquatech have become key areas of focus for many investors globally. Why? With a wave of new technologies cropping up to help all parts of the agriculture and aquaculture process – from farmers applying these new technologies on the farm, to distributors applying them after harvest, to even food companies applying it during processing – the opportunities available within the agritech/aquatech sector continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. Two investors provide their perspectives on agriculture and aquaculture technologies; what’s on the horizon and the types of start-ups they seek to fund.
Panelists: Roger Royse, Founder at Royse Law Firm in Palo Alto, CA and TBD

3:00 p.m.


Symposium Partners