U.S.: Western Growers opens Center for Innovation & Technology
Western Growers has opened its Salinas-based Center for Innovation & Technology (WGCIT), an incubator aimed at bringing entrepreneurs together with farmers to develop solutions to agriculture's biggest challenges.
Taylor Farms chairman and CEO Bruce Taylor was instrumental in coalescing the Western Growers Board of Directors around his vision to help agriculture facilitate solutions to its resources challenges.
"The fresh produce industry is labor intensive and requires significant use of water and other inputs," Taylor said.
"If we are going to continue providing safe and healthy food to a growing population, we must collaborate more closely with the innovators and entrepreneurs who can help us revolutionize how we farm."
Western Growers president and CEO Tom Nassif has been responsible for implementing the vision of the Western Growers Board of Directors.
"In an era of diminishing natural and human resources and growing regulatory and marketplace demands, the future of agriculture depends on technology," he said.
"The Center will serve as a hub for the accelerated development and rapid deployment of innovative solutions to help farmers feed more people with fewer inputs."
The WGCIT will help identify and prioritize the major needs facing the agriculture industry, provide support to start-up companies as they develop and refine technologies to address these priorities, and communicate the most promising advancements to the industry and venture capitalists.
Rao Mandava, Chairman and President of Inteligistics, a company that uses the "Internet of Things" and "Big Data" to offer innovative temperature sensor software for the supply chain, is pleased to be one of the inaugural tenants in the Center.
"Inteligistics is proud to be a partner with Western Growers and looks forward to working with the industry to develop cutting-edge technology for agriculture," he said.
"We are excited by the opportunity to showcase our solutions and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs in a fast-paced environment."
All WGCIT start-up companies will have access to hot desks or work stations, both with the amenities of a traditional office.
Additionally, these tenants will have access to regular programming – classes, workshops and networking events – designed to provide them with the business knowledge and customer relationships they need to successfully bring their technologies to market.