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The WGCIT Agtech Blog

Agtech innovators. WGCIT stories.

Shaping the Next Generation of AgTech Leaders

Posted on April 15, 2016 16:12 PM by WGCIT

ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, visited the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology (WGCIT) yesterday to learn how technological innovations can be used to tackle food system challenges.

Twenty students from Switzerland, Spain, Philippines, Germany, U.S. and China toured the Center and connected with some of the most notable leaders in the Salinas area. Former Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, WGCIT Consultant Lisa Dobbins, Food Origins’ Nathan Dorn and the Mixing Bowl’s Rob Trice spoke about the problems farmers and the ag industry face every day and the types of technology that is being developed to solve those issues.  

Students also had the opportunity to interact with innovators who are currently developing technology that solves real-world issues. Rao Mandava and Matt Fry of Inteligistics—a startup company working out of the WGCIT—explained to students how their technology platform advances efforts to enhance food safety.   

The visit was part of a one-week study program where students across the globe tour California›s Central and Silicon Valleys. The diverse group brings interdisciplinary perspectives from their 14 different majors—everything from urban/regional planning and microbiology to engineering and agricultural science. Through a series of tours, speakers and educational events, students learn how the food system is being transformed by information technology in innovative ways. Students also explore how this disruption may address the most pressing food system challenges.