Blog post | 02-25-2021 | Consulate General in Vancouver
Agriculture is the largest sector in Canada with a strong focus on horticulture. To get a feel for Dutch agricultural innovations in British Columbia, the Dutch Consulate General in Vancouver and the Dutch Embassy’s agricultural team spoke with several entrepreneurs.
In this 10-part blog series, we will be highlighting a leading innovative agtech company in British Columbia each week, with an emphasis on its close connection to the Netherlands.
Part 1 (1/10): Ecoation.
Modern farms typically cover hundreds of acres of crop fields or greenhouses, so growers are unable to check all of their plants. Often times when a disease is detected it is too late for intervention, at which point pesticides offer the most effective solution. Dr Saber Miresmailli, co-founder of Ecoation, asked the question: How can we tell that a plant is sick before the problem gets out of hand?
‘Plants never lie’
Miresmailli and his experienced team of over 60 growers, scientists, engineers, and professionals from around the world have studied a plant’s physiology, especially its internal activities in response to stress and disease, and then built technology that can assess this internal chemistry. “This is an active probe and detection technology that interacts with the internal chemistry of the plant and provides reliable data that establishes a dialogue between the plant and the grower”, explains Miresmailli before adding: “Fortunately , plants never lie about their health. “
Human knowledge and machine precision
In mythology, OKO is the god of agriculture. At Ecoation, OKO is a tool that allows producers to extend their knowledge, expertise and influence to all areas of their greenhouse operations. Ecoation’s award-winning, producer-centric (OKO) solution combines human knowledge and experience with machine precision and automation to act as “ eyes on the ground ” and deliver services in three areas: Closed Loop IPM, Performance Production Assessments and Quality of Work Culture.
Founded in 2010 by a team of husband and wife – her background is in biology and plant science, hers in engineering – Ecoation merges biology and technology to develop products that change the way we produce food.
The right numbers
Innovating at the crossroads of the expertise and knowledge of the producer and the precision of the machine is Ecoation’s sweet spot. “Growing up is ultimately a numbers game,” concludes Miresmailli. “And we are working to ensure that producers get the right numbers, at the right time, so they can make the best decisions possible.”
Link with the Netherlands
- Dutch partnerships
Metazet, Micothon, Deplhy, Koppert Biological Systems, Viscon Group, Enza Zaden, LetsGrow.Com, BlueRadix and Ridder.
- Newly Patented KENNIS AI / IA Growth Assistant
Referring to the Dutch term for knowledge and cognition, KENNIS exists to give producers a tool to turn observational data into decision-making power, essentially going beyond what is happening to diagnose why it is happening.
- Winner of the GreenTech Innovation Concept Award 2018 in Amsterdam
IRIS by Ecoation! Scout Robot, in partnership with Dutch Micothon and Metazet-FormFlex, won the prestigious Greentech Innovation Award in Amsterdam.
Want to know more about the collaboration between the Dutch and Canadians in British Columbia?
In the brochure, which you can download below, you will find a number of examples of innovative companies in British Columbia, with close ties to the Netherlands. We hope to see many more of these strong collaborations and are keen to support more innovators.
If you would like to know more, please contact the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver at [email protected] or contact the Economic Affairs teams in Ottawa and Toronto.