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CANCELLED IN 2020, Global Food Summit 2020

Tue, March 24, 2020
Munich, Germany

Artificial intelligence will change the food industry:
A tomato will always be a tomato, but where and how it is produced changes at a breathtaking rate. New cultivation methods go beyond our traditional ideas. The tomato has meanwhile become a city plant, "cultivated" with artificial light in nutrient solution in a digitally controlled indoor farm.

The production of food supported by intelligent systems is already the present and will be our future: robots prepare burgers, bots help with wine purchases or scan shopping shelves to see if products are missing. Variable LED lights with their light radiation signal eternal spring for fast-growing plants. 30 harvests per year are possible.
Examples of this can be found in space travel, in greenhouses on the Arctic Circle or in biosphere reserves: Closed systems use state-of-the-art technology - solar energy from light-emitting diodes, genome editing, hydroponics or protein fibre breeding - to produce food outside the field.

This controlled urban production is consumer-oriented, without expensive, complex logistics, fresh, without pesticides or herbicides, regional and organic and thus sustainable. Land use is significantly reduced. This future has already arrived in the present.

But the new methods are still based on linear thinking and linear production. What we need, however, is networked thinking in cycles. Every by-product, every waste product is a new raw material for reuse in human nutrition, for use as animal feed; recycled for industry, for conversion into fertiliser or for use in energy production.

For the first time in history, there is a possibility that an entire city will become an ecosystem - through closed production and waste cycles, through an Urban Circular Food Economy.

We are not at the end of an era of technical and economic innovation, we are - driven by artificial intelligence - only at the beginning. Interdisciplinary cooperation, made possible by digitalisation, will lead to further fundamental changes: Nutrition and medicine will move closer together, personalized nutrition in the service of health will become more important. Productions at regional or local level will stand in the way of global logistics. Energy concepts for mobility, agriculture and housing will be linked to avoid or process food waste.

Integrative approaches to food and environmental services can and must of course also include the urban hinterland and traditional farms, which reprocess the "new" food waste. This is a field full of opportunities for innovative agriculture in search of new ways forward. The same goes for the young urban start-ups and entrepreneurs, for whom sustainability is at the heart of their production.


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Tue, March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am
Munich, Germany


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