“South Korea can be a base camp to enable UK companies to develop technology for Asian countries,” Professor Kyeong-Hwan Lee, of Chonnam National University, South Korea, says ahead of REAP 2020. He attended Agri-TechE’s REAP conference last year with several directors of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to build on this connection and he has a brought a delegation of companies to this year’s virtual event.
Professor Lee served as a director of the Agricultural and Robotics and Automation Research Center, which was established by the Ministry in 2014 and is creating a pilot test farm in Chonnam province as the first step toward building an agri-tech science park.
“I think South Korea has good resources to develop agri-tech and become the hub for agri-tech in Asia. Our area, Chonnam province and Gwangju city, is the core of agriculture production and the national research centre of artificial intelligence will also be founded here.”
In 2019, Professor Lee invited Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-TechE to the Leaders Forum held in Korea. “We talked about Agri-Tech and cooperation between UK and Korea and I followed this up with a visit to REAP.
“Asia will be the major market of agri-tech in near future. My goal is to build an agri-tech science park and create a new paradigm in agriculture using agri-tech. I believe it can contribute to accelerate agriculture industrialization and this can make a new growth driver in both the countries.
“European companies can develop core technology by cooperating with several international companies in Korea and testing it under local conditions that are typical of the Asian climate, soil, and crops. In some case, some big data can also be provided.”
Dr Clarke welcomes closer cooperation between Agri-TechE and the emerging agri-tech hub in South Korea. “During our meetings in Seoul it was inspiring to hear the vision and to learn about the potential complementarity between the UK agri-tech ecosystem and the needs in the wider Asian markets.
“We look forward to working with Prof Lee and the Ministry, as well as the Department for International Trade in Seoul to supporting these exciting plans and forging some productive partnerships.”
Seven companies and one association from South Korea will be participating in the TechHub of REAP with discussions and one-on-one meetings facilitated by members of the Agri-TechE team and also AI-enabled to ensure productive networking.
The South Korean companies include:
Cesl Primus Co. – Image analysis and vertical strawberry cultivation
Daehoeng – platform for data acquisition, data preprocessing, analysis, and decision-making through technology convergence, and its Smart-AG collects growth information to predict harvest time and yield.
FACT – The Foundation of AG. Tech, Commercialization and Transfer
GINT Co. – fleet management services and self-driving technologies for tractors.
Geospatial Information Co. – UAV developer for precision agriculture.
INFEEL Co. – support for selling crops worldwide
UCONSYSTEM Co. – Survey and mapping by drone and multi-spectral sensors
Synerex Inc – GNSS RTK receivers