BCCAI makes international strides this summer through visits to Japan, South Korea, and Boston, USA

July 25, 2023
BCCAI Scientific Director Woo Soo Kim (center) at the Robotic and AI center at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in Japan

Understanding different markets that have challenges and opportunities in common is strategic for solving problems that affect an increasingly globalized world. That's why Simon Fraser University-led B.C. Center for Agritech Innovation (BCCAI) sought new perspectives in conversations with partners in South Korea, Japan and Boston, USA.

From June 25th to 27th, BCCAI Scientific Director Woo Soo Kim visited the Smart Farm Center at the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) in the city of Jeonju, South Korea.  The meeting with the institute provided Dr. Kim with the opportunity to delve into research and foster ideas for potential collaboration in the fields of autonomous greenhouse and smart farming. The focus was on leveraging cutting-edge sensors and big image data analysis to bolster the strategies of BC's industrial partners and growers, with a strong emphasis on controlled environment agriculture.

“The Smart Farm Centre researchers and NAAS’ International Partnership officers understand the importance of collaboration between Canada and South Korea. We will explore national level and provincial level collaboration between BCCAI and NAAS. This potential partnership will be of great mutual benefit for our both countries as we share similar challenges but also great enthusiasm to find smart solutions for today’s complex issues in agriculture and environment preservation.” said Dr. Kim

On June 28th BCCAI Scientific Director continued his trip towards Japan, where he visited the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Robotic and AI center at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) located in the city of Tsukuba. The visit allowed Dr. Kim to learn more about the cutting-edge R&D expertise and market needs in Japan, as well as explore future connection for collaboration as potential suppliers and reviewers for BCCAI projects. Canada and Japan share similar challenges and opportunities in agritech.  During this visit, the Scientific Director discovered that Japan's advanced drone-based image recognition technology, primarily designed for crop identification and early detection of crop diseases, holds potential for application in the Canadian and BC’s agritech industry.

On July 12th Dr. Kim ended his international prospections in Boston, in the United States, where he met with Indigo - a unicorn agritech company that provides biotechnology solutions to farmers looking to improve crops while facing climate change – to exchange on company’s soil health technology and microbial seed treatment technology.  

Through these visits and conversations with potential partners, Dr. Kim hopes to strengthen the work carried out by BCCAI by attracting key partners and top-notch technologies to solve problems in the Canadian agritech market, while expanding the Center's projection in the international market with its unique network and co-creation model.