After a quick break in Ibiza (for once not business related!) I spent much of the summer on the mezzanine level at our Amsterdam headquarters. While most people in Europe escaped the summer heat in more traditional ways, I spent much of it inside the cooler temperatures of the R&D facility to spend some quality time with our plants.
The R&D lab is where we test everything, from the optimal conditions to achieve the highest yield, to how our AI learns. This summer was all about testing and tweaking our AI and strawberry plants. As a hands-on CEO, it’s been just as important for me to spend time with the plants as in the office. Understanding and learning how they respond to different conditions and recipes help us as we move forward with our farms around the world and keeps me grounded.
At the end of July, we welcomed our robotics and AI team from Hungary to demo the progress on the four intellectual properties (IPs) they are working on. As you might have seen on our social media pages, many of us took it in turns to try the VR experience, which allows anyone with a headset to see how our smart farms operate in real life, giving a first hand experience of what it takes to grow food in our units. This piece of tech won’t be available to the public just yet but it will help our partners, employees and anyone else who is working with SMARTKAS to better understand what it feels like to be inside our smart farms.
As I look ahead at the next few weeks and into Q4, I’ll leave the R&D facility and head back on the road. Next week, our CMO, Tess Potharst, and I will visit our Central Eastern European headquarters to meet with the robotics and artificial intelligence team in our new offices. They’ve been making great progress on our IPs and we can’t wait to see the progress first hand.
Our UK operations have been buzzing with activity and I’m excited to see the changes our Chief Commercial Officer, Mark Kirby, has made in Harlow. Mark and the team have been overseeing the propagation of 120,000 plants from our nurseries into the climate cells and we’re looking at harvesting strawberries in October.
Critical to our business as we look at the next stage is our recruitment drive. As we scale in pace, so too will our number of employees. In Harlow, we have greatly expanded the team of SMARTKAS, including seven new operatives. In the coming weeks, this number will grow to include another 11 people!
As we start to activate new projects and set in motion our growth plans, our hiring is ramping up and we’re looking forward to new colleagues joining the team. In Hungary, we’ll expand our marketing team by another three full time people and in Amsterdam this will be further supported by another three people. So if you - or you know of anyone - who is interested in joining our exciting team, please check out our job postings on our website WWW.SMARTKAS.COM.
I look forward to welcoming our new team members and getting back on the road this month. Until next time!
By 2050 the planet will need to provide food for over 10 billion people. Designed to target all aspects of food security, our smart and sustainable agricultural growing processes are set to change the way we feed the world.Read More