The VINE Climate Smart Innovation Accelerator
The VINE Accelerator is an exciting program that is open to startups and innovators who have exciting new technologies to test, validate, and advance in California. Our objective is to work with companies in two sectors: controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and the dairy and livestock industry. The accelerator process begins with an industry-led roadmap, followed by an innovation scan to identify startups and commercial-ready research in the UC system or globally. We offer market connections, funding opportunities, validation, new partners, and investor project demonstrations to help them succeed.
Startups and innovators interested in joining the accelerator need to apply and go through a filtering process to ensure we are a good fit for their needs. We engage with corporate and investors and offer Vine Navigator as part of our offering. The farming community is a crucial partner in our program, and we're dedicated to accelerating projects that address commercialization needs and fill gaps in the industry. We work to identify problems, conduct an innovation scan, and focus on the most important areas to get projects going and help support the industry.
Global Controlled Environment Agriculture Consortium (GCEAC)
The Global Controlled Environment Agriculture Consortium (GCEAC) is an international collaboration between growers, tech companies, and universities from California and The Netherlands, with the goal of building technology solutions in Controlled Environment Agriculture to address global challenges related to food, health, and sustainability. The consortium focuses on accelerating profitable indoor horticulture globally through pre-competitive collaborative innovation. Its objectives include developing a technology roadmap, creating demonstration facilities, building strong partnership networks, conducting collaborative innovation projects, improving sustainability, and developing the workforce, among others.
GCEAC is led by UC ANR, The VINE, FME, and NL Works, with the support of the Dutch government. By partnering with experts from both regions, GCEAC aims to identify solutions that are already in the market, as well as emerging solutions, and work collaboratively to address gaps and support the commercialization of new technology to meet industry needs. Learn more >
Climate-Smart Dairy is an initiative that aims to promote sustainable dairy farming practices and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy industry. The project brings together stakeholders from the dairy industry, research institutions, and governmental organizations in California and the Netherlands. The focus of the initiative is to identify the challenges related to nitrate and methane emissions, as well as manure and labor difficulties, and develop solutions that are both environmentally sustainable and economically viable. Climate-Smart Dairy seeks to foster collaborations and partnerships that will enable the implementation of these solutions and facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices in the dairy industry.
The initiative recognizes the crucial role of the dairy industry in providing nutrition and income for a large portion of the global population, while also acknowledging the environmental footprint of the industry. By addressing the challenges related to the dairy industry's impact on the environment, Climate-Smart Dairy aims to ensure that the industry remains sustainable in the long run. The initiative is also committed to supporting small farmers and promoting equity in the dairy industry. Through partnerships and collaborations, Climate-Smart Dairy seeks to develop and promote innovative, sustainable, and socially responsible dairy farming practices that benefit both the industry and the environment.
Farm Robotics Challenge
The Farm Robotics Challenge is an innovative program that invites student teams from participating universities and colleges across the United States to develop novel solutions for agricultural challenges, with a focus on small-scale farms. The participants will use the advanced Amiga robot to integrate robotics into agricultural research in order to speed up the transfer of research results into practical applications. This challenge offers a one-of-a-kind experience for hands-on interdisciplinary teamwork and is designed to foster students' interest in the field of agricultural robotics, with the ultimate goal of providing solutions that will benefit small-scale farmers.
Small-scale farmers often face unique challenges due to their limited resources and land, and the Farm Robotics Challenge aims to address these challenges through the development of innovative solutions. By engaging with students and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, the program is helping to foster the next generation of agricultural innovators who will be equipped to tackle the challenges facing small farms. The use of robotics in agriculture has the potential to revolutionize the way we grow food, and the Farm Robotics Challenge is playing a key role in advancing this technology and promoting its adoption in the small farm sector. Learn more >
The Plant @ California
The Plant @ California is a proposed innovation center and ecosystem that is focused on the convergence of agriculture, food, and health. The project envisions a world-class facility that will serve as a platform for industry-university collaboration and technology scaling companies. It will feature wet labs, food processing facilities, greenhouses, biotechnology spaces, meeting rooms, corporate office spaces, and a conference center.
The Plant aims to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders in the agriculture, food, and health sectors to facilitate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies that can address pressing challenges in these fields. By fostering collaboration and providing access to cutting-edge resources and expertise, The Plant aims to accelerate the pace of innovation and create a more sustainable and resilient food system. While the project is still in the planning stages, it has generated significant interest and support from stakeholders across the industry and academia, and is seen as a potentially transformative initiative in the field of agriculture and food.
The Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation (F3) Coalition
F3 is a coalition led by the Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) aiming to develop and scale the food and agriculture technology engineering industry in the Central Valley region of California. F3 was named a finalist in the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and received $65.1 million in funding from the EDA's American Rescue Plan to support small farmers, food entrepreneurs, and improve the local food system. The VINE is a leader of the Local Food and Farm Innovation (LFFI) sub-initiative, which is focused on creating food hubs and a small farm-focused tool-lending library, among other services, to enhance the local food system.
In addition to the Local Food and Farm Innovation sub-initiative led by the VINE, F3 includes initiatives focused on water conservation, renewable energy, workforce development, and more. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and government officials, F3 aims to create a more resilient and sustainable food system in the Central Valley and beyond. Learn more >
The Artificial Intelligence Institute for Next Generation Food Systems (AIFS)
is a collaborative research initiative focused on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the food system for the better. The institute was launched in 2021 as a partnership between the University of California, Davis, and the World Food Center, with the goal of bringing together a diverse community of experts to work on complex food system challenges. AIFS is focused on creating solutions that are sustainable, equitable, and economically viable.
The research conducted by AIFS spans a wide range of topics, from optimizing crop yields and reducing food waste to improving food safety and increasing access to healthy, nutritious food. The institute is also working to develop tools and technologies that can be used by food system stakeholders, such as farmers, food processors, and retailers. By harnessing the power of AI, AIFS hopes to make significant strides in creating a food system that is more resilient, efficient, and responsive to the needs of people and the planet. With its interdisciplinary approach and commitment to innovation, AIFS is poised to be a driving force in the future of food systems research. Learn more >
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