two trends: (1) Progress from a fundraising and traction perspective in key areas like weeding, spraying and harvest assist; and (2) Less progress in other key areas – notably harvest. The time it takes to build automation solutions is getting shorter and the costs are getting smaller thanks to overall advances in robotics and non- agriculture fields that benefit agtech startups, as well as the increasing talent pool that agtech startups are able to add to their teams. Western Growers worked with three new partners on this year’s version of the report. First, the Mixing Bowl team delivered the “2022 Crop Robotics Landscape.” This landscape found more than 500 robot companies and vetted 200+ for the landscape, grouped into autonomous movement, crop management and harvest segments with multiple sub-segments in each to provide a very comprehensive view of the key players and the functionalities they currently deliver. Second, the Agritecture team provided in-depth economics of multiple CEA formats and crop types. Third, Michelin arrived as the first report sponsor and met with a series of growers and startups to help them consider ag-related business units that might complement their core tire and track business. These meetings were valuable for both sides, as growers got a chance to articulate some of their needs to an international team from Michelin and the Michelin team got to validate some initial assumptions and dive deeper into the problem statements presented by the growers and startups.
FIRA USA in October 2022 in Fresno, Calif. This three-day conference brought together experts from around the globe from universities, startups and grower organizations to one place for three days of panels, keynotes and field demonstrations. The attendee target for this type of event was 400 and we were glad to deliver an event to 1,000 attendees that exceeded all expectations for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. FIRA USA brings the report to real life and helps growers see in-person the results of the work the innovators do every day. FIRA USA will be held in September 2023 in California and will provide another opportunity for growers and startups to start or build on a lot of conversations about how and when they should invest in automation solutions. We look forward to next year’s report and next year’s FIRA USA event! Western Growers would like to thank the following people for providing major support on the Global Harvest Automation Initiative: 1. Roland Berger team members Wilfried Aulbur, Giovanni Schelfi, Eva Barbier, Harris Chacko and Duncan McHattie, who once again did a great job of assembling a lot of great new data and supporting analysis into a really solid second effort for the report; 2. Western Growers team members who helped with the review and production of the final product, including Tim Vu, Jaymee McInerney, Cory Lunde, Ann Donahue, Michelle Rivera, Kara Timmins, Jason Resnick, Dennis Donohue and Emily Lyons.
Finally, in conjunction with the GHAI and our partners at GOFAR and UC ANR, Western Growers launched
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