Koidra Wins $1M Grant with University of Guelph & AAFC for Autonomous Strawberry Production

October 5, 2023
Autonomous strawberry production in Homegrown Innovation Challenge 2023

Koidra Inc. proudly announces its distinguished position in the Homegrown Innovation Challenge, a transformative endeavor…

[Seattle, WA ] – Koidra proudly announces its distinguished position in the Homegrown Innovation Challenge, a transformative endeavor to elevate Canada’s agricultural sector.

Under the project title “Autonomous Controlled Environment System for Year-Round Berry Production”, the Koidra team, in collaboration with Principal Applicant – Dr. Youbin Zheng of the University of Guelph, and Co-applicant – Dr. Xiuming Hao from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is on a quest to pioneer the next era of strawberry production in the controlled environments, significantly increasing yield and sustainability factors.

Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Koidra’s innovative solutions continuously refine and optimize environmental parameters in greenhouses, such as temperature and CO2 levels, ensuring ideal growth conditions and resource efficiency. Dr. Youbin Zheng elaborated, “Operating a greenhouse is like orchestrating a symphony; every component must harmonize. And with berries, the stakes are higher. But through our shared expertise, we’re crafting an intuitive and resource-efficient berry-growing environment.”

Autonomous Strawberry Production

Their collaboration has consistently delivered exceptional results. In 2018, Dr. Ken Tran of Koidra teamed up with Dr. Xiuming Hao from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, securing a resounding win in an autonomous greenhouse challenge centered on cucumbers. This triumph was twofold, setting a benchmark with record yields and top-tier sustainability ratings in energy, water, and CO2 efficiency.

Fast forward to 2022, Koidra rose to the occasion once more. Facing a challenge with lettuce, they clinched another win, outperforming expert growers by an impressive 27% in profit, all the while upholding strong sustainability metrics.

Highlighting real-world implications, Dr. Tran noted, “In our recent pilots, Koidra’s technology dramatically boosted yields — organic eggplants and mini cucumbers saw increases of 27% and 20% respectively. It’s a clear testament to our technology’s broad impact and adaptability.”

Using AI we don’t aim to replace growers; we seek to elevate their potential to unparalleled heights.

Dr. Ken Tran, Koidra CEO

The strides made by this collaboration are not merely steps toward sustainable berry farming; they are giant leaps for the future of agriculture. Koidra Inc. is proud to be a part of the Homegrown Innovation Challenge, driving innovation that promises to shape the future of Canadian farming, bolster food security, and inspire global change.

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About the Homegrown Innovation Challenge

The Homegrown Innovation Challenge aspires to confront the issues associated with Canada’s heavy reliance on imported fresh produce, which renders the nation susceptible to disruptions in global food systems. By overcoming the barriers that currently hinder out-of-season production at scale, this challenge seeks to usher in solutions that extend beyond berries, addressing a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops, both nationally and globally.

The Homegrown Innovation Challenge launched in February 2022 and is extending its second stage (Shepherd Phase) in mid 2023, where the top 11 innovation teams selected by an independent judging panel will each receive up to $1M to develop proofs of concept for their ideas.

About Koidra Inc.

Koidra Inc. is an autonomous control company whose software aids growers in boosting yields, reducing resources, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Supporting the AI copilot technology, this software seamlessly integrates with all existing climate computers.

Koidra achieved consecutive wins in the prestigious Autonomous Greenhouse Challenges (AGC) by Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. Outperforming experienced cultivators, the company achieved unparalleled yields through its AI solutions.

Koidra has secured grants from esteemed bodies, including the USDA, for its innovative work. By integrating artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and expert insight, the company has developed advanced and robust tools. These tools empower growers and manufacturers to realize production and sustainability goals while minimizing costs.

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