5th International VDI Conference - Smart Farming

  • Explore the many ways in which Smart Farming can have strategic benefits for your business
  • Discuss recent trends and developments with leading international experts in the field
  • Register for the “Smart Farming” conference and visit our parallel conferences on “Connected Off-Highway Machines” and “Electrified Off-Highway Machines” at no additional cost
International Conference Smart Farming

Save the Date! The 5th International VDI Conference on “Smart Farming 2021” will be held in Dusseldorf (Germany) from May 19th to 20th, 2021. Supported by national and international experts, the conference brings together over 100 thought leaders in cutting edge agri-industry solutions. As an actor in the farming industry, you cannot get around “Smart Farming” and its implications for your business. Smart Farming is a buzzword for engineers in the agricultural fields. And rightly so: Utilizing smart IT, drones, and other advanced technologies and – crucially – networking these assets, results in higher yields, more economic use of resources, as well as higher efficiency.

Application of smart technology in agribusiness

Providing farmers with the right technology allows them to optimize (moreover: minimize!) their use of pesticides and the like while maintaining a high output with reasonable investments.


We are currently preparing the final program for you. You will soon be able to download it here.
Meanwhile take a look at Smart Farming 2020’s focus topics:

  • When Digital meets Physical: An Automation Journey
  • Autonomous Tractors – A Short Term Reality?
  • How to create a digital Data Ecosystem with the Farmer at the Steer
  • Combining Flexible Agricultural Services and Data Sovereignty
  • Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Ag

+ Interactive Round Table Discussions
+ Workshops: Turning Data into Value & Machine Data

Tuesday, March 03, 2020


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address

I. Towards more Automation in Agriculture


Automation driving continous Optimization of Ag Production Systems

  • Automation examples of production system optimization
  • Automation increasingly fueled by digital platforms
  • How automation enables the commercialization of autonomy

Dr. Alex Foessel, Enterprise Lead Architect, Automation to Autonomy, John Deere, USA


Autonomous Tractors – A short term Reality?

  • Farmers willingness to adapt self-driving tractors
  • Cost reduction potential for various farm sizes
  • Identified technology gaps for self-driving tractors
  • Sensor fusion technology to support autonomous tractors

Dr. Elza Marisa Paiva de Figueiredo, Autonomous System Manager, Dr. Thomas Langer, Market Development Manager, both: Danfoss Power Solutions, Denmark


Automated L2 Trucks for Sugarcane Harvest: Faster Operation, less Fuel, better Crop Yield and relieved Driver

  • Advantages of truck vs. tractor in the 24/7 sugarcane harvest in Brazil
  • New configuration with additional axle, wider track and high flotation tires
  • SAE level 2 automation includes geo-referenced steering and cruise control
  • Cooperation with reliable partners to execute modifications

Camilo Abduch Adas, Product Engineering MB Trucks, Head Validation MB Trucks for Brazilian Market, co-authors: Marcus Kliewer, Jonathan Peter Marxen, all: Mercedes-Benz, Brazil


Autonomy and Automation: Solving Real World Problems

  • What challenges are seen in Automation, in the real world
  • Automating the task, not the machine
  • Looking forward

James Szabo, Product Manager – Autonomous Agriculture, Trimble Inc., UK




Ag Robots: From Prototype/Early Adopter to Industrialization and Mass Market Adoption

  • Where are we now?
  • What are the main challenge still to solve?
  • Let‘s dream, what‘s next?

Gaëtan Séverac, Co-founder, Naïo Technologies, France

II. Digital Integration Platforms


How creating a universal Data Collection and streaming Solution can unlock the Adoption of a Digital Agriculture Platform?

  • The challenge in standardizing data management throughout the industry
  • Accelerating the adoption rate of farm management solutions using easy data management
  • The next challenge: How to inspire farmers to utilize their data

Fabio Roverso, Field Product Lead Europe, The Climate Corporation, Italy


Precision Collaboration – B2B Collaboration meets Precision Ag

  • Orchestrating business processes between farmers and his supporting service providers
  • Connect precision algorithms with the farmer’s data
  • Maximizing “value creation” from using production related solutions for farmers

Martin Bernhard, Country Manager DACH, Proagrica, Germany


Networking & Coffee Break


Robust AI at the Edge – Grain Handling Quality Assurance Sensor

  • The costly mistake of mixing different grain types
  • Sensor architecture and data collection strategy
  • AI for crop type image classification
  • Ensuring robust outputs and confidence measures
  • Seeing inside the “black box” Convolutional Neural Network model

Josh Gelinske, Director AI Systems, Intelligent Ag Solutions, USA


Interactive Round Table Session

The most interactive session of the program! The focus is on the delegates – Choose your preferred topic from the list below, and join the numbered table in the main auditorium. Hosted by an industry leader, it’s a valuable opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and network with other delegates focused on the same issue. Here are the first few confirmed topics:

  1. What does „User Friendly“ mean for Automated/Smart Farming Equipment?
    Gaëtan Séverac, Naïo Technologies, France
  2. Will Artificial Intelligence accelerate the Adoption of Smart Farming in agricultural Practice?
    Dr. Christian Linke, Owner, Ingenieurbüro Dr. Linke, Germany
  3. Central and independent Data Platforms for the agricultural Data Space
    Bernd Rauch, Fraunhofer IESE, Germany

End of Conference Day One



At the end of the first conference day we kindly invite you to use the relaxed and informal atmosphere for in-depth conversations with other participants and speakers.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

III. Farm Data Value


FarmBeats: How Data & Analytics are enabling Data-Driven Farming

  • Enabling better farming decision to increase yield, lowering cost, sustainable farming, and dealing with uncertain conditions
  • Eliminating data silos and reasoning over geospatial and time aligned data
  • Detecting coherences & patterns with AI that allow to take preventative action

Claudia Roessler, Director Agriculture Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft, USA


Balancing global OEM digital Agronomy with regional FMIS Partners

  • As digital hurdles come down, service demands rise
  • Farming is local, demanding regional services
  • More access leads to better services
  • Partnerships and relationships are required for balance

Dan Danford, Global Industry Relations/Digital Agriculture, co-author: Claudio Ladeira, Sr. Manager Connected Products, both: CNH Industrial, USA


Combining flexible agricultural Services and Data Sovereignty

  • Data driven business models in the agricultural domain are on the rise
  • Keeping control of data is becoming increasingly hard for data originators
  • The research project „Cognitive Agriculture“ explores concepts for digital ecosystems
  • Proposal of a concept for data usage control by technological means

Bernd Rauch, Architecture Centric Engineering/Senior Software Architect, co-authors: Jens Henningsen, Manuel Rudolph, all: Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE), Germany


Networking & Coffee Break


The Data Hub for Agri-Food in Flanders: Digitizing the Ag Code of Conduct to create a digital Data Ecosystem with the Farmer at the Steer

  • DjustConnect: A unique data sharing platform in the Flemish agro food chain
  • Creating trust based on the The EU Code of Conduct on Ag data sharing: The farmer is recognized as owner of the raw data
  • A fundamental tool for developing more secure and smart applications

Dr. ir Jürgen Vangeyte, Director of the Agricultural Engineering Department, Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food (ILVO), Belgium

IV. Key enabling Technologies


Smart Farming towards Precision Ag with a Case Study – Levelling & Sensing Technology

  • Smart Farming towards precision agriculture introduction in India
  • Requirements of land levelling in India and its effect on Farm Field
  • Tractor electro hydraulic system
  • Case study – Smart way of using laser land levelling

Raja Elango, Principal Member – Centre of Excellence, R&D, Precision AGriculture (PAG.), TAFE, India




Seeing the Visible – Real Time Image Analysis for Agriculture

  • Unique challenges for vision systems in agriculture
  • Design of a real time image system used for obstacle detection
  • Lessons learned deploying machine vision on agricultural platforms

Rhett Schildroth, President, Redshield Consulting, USA


Seeing the Invisible – Multispectral Image Analysis for Ag Use Cases

  • Foundations of multi- and hyperspectral image capture and processing
  • Drone as a service – An overview about current remote sensing technology and upcoming trends
  • Plant stress factor detection in multispectral imagery – Examples
  • Use cases – Variable rate applications for fertilization and crop protection

Henrik Battke, Regional Managing Director, co-author: Dr. Klaus Schneider-Zapp, Technical Lead radiometry, both: Pix4D, Germany


Networking & Coffee Break


Panel Discussion

The next five Years – What new Trends will occur in Agriculture?

V. Addressing ecological Sustainability with Smart Farming


eAgronom AI: Harvesting CO2 from Air into Soil

  • eAgronom has working AI and paid customers who use it
  • Most successful farmers turn CO2 from air into soil to increase humus each year
  • Factory in farming is environment around the farm
  • By improving environment (factory) farmers can save a lot of money

Robin Saluoks, CEO, eAgronom, Estonia


Smart Farming Technologies and Sustainability: An NGO Perspective

• Seductive technologies: Digitalization, precision, automation, geo-spatial
• Examples from the field: US, Brazil and Africa
• Technology as moral hazard: Climate change
• The political economy of access: Realizing technology’s promise in the real world

David Cleary, Director of Global Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy, USA


Conference Chair’s closing Remarks


End of Conference

Who is the conference for?

This conference will bring people from the following fields together:

  • Developers and Product Managers in manufacturing of agricultural machines
  • Active farmers and cooperative farm holders (Big Farm)
  • Suppliers of agricultural equipment and components
  • Robotics manufacturers focusing on farming applications
  • Key players in the agri-chemical industry
  • Logistics providers for agricultural applications
  • Ministries & Departments of Agriculture from different countries
  • Agricultural Research Agencies, Associations & Unions as well as Universities & Colleges

Do you have a story to tell? Become a speaker – Interact with key players in the agricultural industry and discuss best practice examples with other international experts.

If you have any questions or need further information please contact Dr. Maria Georgiou-Smith.

Are you interested in promoting your company and products at the 5th International VDI Conference “Smart Farming”? Contact ulbrichvdide for more details.

Buy one ticket – Visit three conferences

Do you want to find out about the latest trends in Smart Farming? Would you like to learn how to utilize the megatrend digital transformation in your agri-business? Then book your ticket for the "Smart Farming" conference now. In addition, also benefit from our parallel conferences on "Connected Off-Highway Machines" and “Electrified Off-Highway Machines” free of extra charge.


Eventnumber: 12KO100

5th International VDI Conference - Smart Farming


Van der Valk Airporthotel Düsseldorf*

Am Hülserhof 57,
40472 Düsseldorf
+49 211/20063-0 to website


1.840,– € plus VAT

Take advantage of the block of rooms we have reserved for guests at the event location. Please list VDI Wissensforum as a reference when making your hotel booking.

Eventnumber: 12KO100

5th International VDI Conference - Smart Farming


Take advantage of the block of rooms we have reserved for guests at the event location. Please list VDI Wissensforum as a reference when making your hotel booking.

In case of queries, you can reach us here

You can reach us at:


Become an exhibitor or sponsor

Request information

Are you missing something?

Do you need more information about this event? Then please feel free to send us a message.

Write a message

Other hotel partners: Book hotel for Conference at HRS