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Howard Aiken

About Technology{}pull...

Every day there are dozens of TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS that add high value to business & society. But, very often it just takes to long or it is not happening at all that innovations are being exploited. 

On the other hand, it happens a lot that innovations lead to modernization outside the domain for which they were intended. Cross-over of innovations between sectors (agro, food, medical, industry, trade, etc.) offers prospects for both companies in the chain and technology companies.

There clearly is a mismatch between TECHNOLOGY PUSH and 
MARKET PULL. However, there is no market demand without technological innovations. The challenge is to actively connect technological innovation and market needs in the business. 

Harrij Schmeitz 
Chief Dream Officer
If you can dream it, you can do it. 

What can we do for you?


The digital transformation is a huge challenge for a lot of companies. Changing both customer, technology, business model, way of work and more first of all requires people who are aware of these necessary changes. After all, employees who are unconsciously incapable of inciting change is a mission impossible. As a Disruptor I like to participate in your innovation team in order to achieve change. With a fresh view and practical examples, I like to encourage innovation in your company. 

Go-To Market Support

I am often approached by companies from outside the Agri & Food, Agriculture, which have the ambition to market a product or service in agriculture. A market that is organized, operates and communicates in a different way than other markets. I would like to help these companies, from start-ups to well-known companies, to develop and roll out their agriculture in their go-to-market strategy.


Events & Talks

I regularly speak during workshops, conferences and lectures about the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on the Agri & Food chains. From greenhouse to cash register, from seed to chop. In addition, I organize large events such as EU FRESH INFO Forum and SMART HORTICULTURE ASIA for already a few years, where I lead the entire event as the chairman. From Program design to chairman of the day. In short, if you are looking for an innovation talk in technology or a day chairman for your event at the connection of AgFood and Technology, please contact us.

Program Management

Making ambitions true. That is the most important drive for a program manager at the connection between technology and Agri & Food. Connecting people, technology and the necessary networks for realization is the challenge. I would like to take this challenge for you.


<ON> to the next level of Smart Horticulture
/ Categories: News

<ON> to the next level of Smart Horticulture

#state of #hortitech

The Smart Horticulture Asia forum (SHA) will be taking place for the fifth time in a row during the Asia Fruit Logistica [ON] trade show. This time, it will not be held in a theatre or on the exhibition floor, but online. Just as in the years before, the programme will examine the significance of new technology for the cultivation of fruit & vegetables and the associated supply chain. 


Harrij Schmeitz, Chairman of SHA: ‘We have been noticing a far-reaching development in horticulture which I would describe as “Unmanned Growing”. One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increasing focus on robotisation. Vertical farming has also been booming in the big cities. A number of technological developments are coming together, which are collectively responsible for some drastic changes in the horticulture industry.’ 

Unmanned Growing is the combination of a number of technological developments leading to a form of horticultural production that requires less and less human labour and interaction. It is a combination of the following technologies:

  • Vertical Farming: the development of vertical farming has helped us gain more and more control over our cultivation environment, in which external influences are reduced to the greatest extent possible. We have also gained much more basic knowledge with regard to individual plant control. Incidentally, ‘controlled environment farming’ is a better term. After all, the basic principle of vertical farming is that it takes place in a fully controlled greenhouse. 
  • Autonomous Growing: based on various developments in ‘controlled environment farming’, steps have been taken towards the realisation of a system in which cultivation is managed autonomously by a computer through the use of sensors, cameras, data and algorithms.
  • Robotics: labour is becoming an issue in more and more high-tech horticultural countries. The availability and housing of migrant workers and rising costs are making the use of robots for both harvesting and crop handling, grading and packaging a necessary step. 


A number of key enabling technologies play an important role in this respect:

  • Sensoring & Vision: there are more and more possibilities these days for the collection of information (data/characteristics/KPIs) in relation to the cultivation environment, the crop and even the ‘well-being’ of individual plants.
  • Data interoperability: standardisation and technology developments such as blockchain make it increasingly easy to store and connect this data. 
  • Artificial Intelligence: the power of our modern-day computers is unprecedented. This means that hundreds of options and models can be calculated in milliseconds in order to make the best decision.

These themes are therefore central to the programme of the fifth edition of Smart Horticulture Asia: ‘Vertical & urban farming’ - 18 November 13:00 + 14:00 SGT, ‘Autonomous growing’ - 19 November 13:00, Robotics 19 - November 14.00h SGT and ‘Interoperable data-driven supply chains’ - 20 November 13:00 SGT. 


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Fruitlogistica 2019
Ready for the first international talk this year on #opportunities of #artificialintelligence #ai for #fresh #produce. See you in Berlin at #fruitlogistica2019 where I talk on Wednesday at the #futurelab stage by Fruitnet Media International #fruchthandel. 

Harrij Schmeitz neemt afscheid van GroentenFruit Huis 
Per 1 februari a.s. beëndigt Harrij Schmeitz de samenwerking met GroentenFruit Huis, stichting Frug I Com en Fresh Information ManagementCenter. Digitalisering van de groenten- en fruitsector is een belangrijke strategische aangelegenheid voor GroentenFruit Huis en heeft een vaste plaats in het jaarplan 2019. 

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Harrij Schmeitz nimmt Abschied von Frug I Com und hinterlässt viele ,,digitale Spuren" 
Zum 1. Februar scheidet Harrij Schmeitz aus dem niederländischen O+G-Dachverband GroentenFruit Huis und dessen Plattformen Frug I Com und Fresh Information Management Center aus. Über viele Jahre war er quasi das ,,digitale Gesicht" nicht nur innerhalb des Branchenverbandes, sondern überhaupt in der niederländischen Obst- und Gemüsebranche. 

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