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Ecoation: Human Knowledge & Machine Precision

Agriculture is the largest sector in Canada with a strong focus on horticulture. To get an impression of Dutch agricultural innovations in British Columbia, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver and the Agricultural Team of the Dutch Embassy spoke with several entrepreneurs.

In this 10-part blog series we will be highlighting one advanced innovative agtech company in B.C. every week, focussing on its strong connections to the Netherlands.

Part 1 (1/10): Ecoation.

Modern farms usually span hundreds of acres of crop fields or greenhouses, so growers are unable to check on all of their plants. Often when a disease is detected, it’s too late for intervention at which point pesticides offer the most effective solution. Dr. Saber Miresmailli, co-founder of Ecoation, posed the question: how can we tell that a plant is sick before the issue gets out of hand?

Portrait of smiling man with glasses, beard and checked scarf
Image: Evan Buggle

'Plants never lie'

Miresmailli and his experienced team of 60+ growers, scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over the globe studied a plant’s physiology, specifically its internal activities in reaction to stress and diseases and then built a technology that can assess this internal chemistry. “This is an active probing and sensing technology that interacts with the plant’s internal chemistry and provides reliable data that establishes a dialogue between the plant and the grower”, explains Miresmailli before adding: “Luckily, plants never lie about the state of their health.”

Human knowledge and machine precision

In mythology, OKO is the god of agriculture. At Ecoation, OKO is a tool that allows growers to extend their knowledge, expertise, influence to all areas of their greenhouse operation. Ecoation’s award-winning grower-centric solution (OKO) combines human knowledge and experience with machine precision and automation to act as a grower’s ‘eyes on the ground’ and offer services in three areas: Closed-loop IPM, Yield Production Assessments, and Crop Work Quality.

Founded in 2010 by a husband and wife team – his background is in biology and plant science, hers in engineering – Ecoation merges biology and technology to develop products that change the way we produce food.

The right numbers

Innovating at the intersection of the grower’s expertise and knowledge and machine precision is Ecoation’s sweet spot. “Growing is ultimately a numbers game”, concludes Miresmailli. “And we work to get growers the right numbers, at the right time, so they can make the best possible decisions.”

Link with the Netherlands

  • Dutch Partnerships
    Metazet, Micothon, Deplhy, Koppert Biological Systems, Viscon Group, Enza Zaden, LetsGrow.Com, BlueRadix, and Ridder.
     
  • Newly patented AI/IA KENNIS Grower Assistant
    Referencing the Dutch term for knowledge and cognition, KENNIS exists to give growers a tool to turn observational data into decision-making power, essentially moving past what is happening to diagnose why it is happening.
     
  • Winner of  2018 GreenTech Innovation Concept Award in Amsterdam
    Ecoation’s IRIS! Scout Robot, in partnership with Dutch Micothon and Metazet-FormFlex, won the prestigious Greentech Innovation Award in Amsterdam.

More on Dutch-Canadian collaboration in B.C.?

In the brochure that you can download below, you will find a number of examples of innovative companies in British Columbia, with strong connections to the Netherlands. We hope to see many more of these strong collaborations and are keen to support more innovators.

If you are interested to learn more, please connect with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vancouver at van-ez@minbuza.nl or contact the Economic Affairs teams in Ottawa and Toronto.