From September 27th to 28th, at the preliminary stage of the 2022 Bright Duoduo Vertical Agriculture Challenge and the 3rd "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition", the contestants participated in the online road show and review and defense in the form of remote video, and the competition was fierce.

  In the end, among the 15 teams participating in the competition, a total of 4 teams successfully entered the finals, namely the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences team, Shanghai Jiaotong University Bao Hua team, CyberFarmer team and Lettus Grow team.

Among them, the CyberFarmer team won the AI ​​group champion of the first "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition", and the Lettus Grow team was the champion of the second "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition".

  Since the start of recruitment in early August, this competition has attracted 30 top teams from around the world and more than 150 young scientists to sign up.

After detailed communication and screening, a total of 15 high-level teams that met the requirements entered the preliminary round, from Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and other places.

After the competition, two teams from Shanghai and Beijing each entered the final.

  At present, the container planting "arena" in Chongming, Shanghai has been refitted.

The finalists are about to start a "no sunlight and soil" planting competition, challenging to grow "fruit lettuce" with higher yield and better quality within two months with lower energy consumption and shorter time.

  "This year's participating teams are generally of high level, and the performance of young talents is remarkable. They have put forward many innovative ideas and ideas, which are worthy of praise." said Zhu Weimin, judge of the competition and director of the Institute of Horticulture, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

  Zhao Chunjiang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of the National Agricultural Informatization Engineering Technology Research Center, believes that there are two gratifying points in this preliminary competition.

First, almost all the participating projects used multi-disciplinary technology, especially the new technology application of AI; secondly, the contestants generally combined innovation and entrepreneurship, paid attention to the economy of technology promotion and application and the profit point of production and operation, and discussed sustainable development. developing business models.

The container "arena" will welcome a batch of "Dr. Lettuce"

  In the past two days, the third "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition" started online.

15 team leaders submitted planting plans on how to grow delicious, high-yield and affordable lettuce in containers and started a roadshow.

After each team completed the presentation, the jury asked a series of questions and scored the team. The assessment dimensions included the forward-looking plan, feasibility of implementation, technical promotion, commercialization ideas, and smart planting.

More than 10 experts and scholars responsible for the evaluation work are mainly from agricultural scientific research, universities and enterprises such as Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China Agricultural University, Zhejiang University, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

  "The participating teams this time have generally been fully prepared to form a comprehensive competition team covering optics, information technology, agricultural planting and other disciplines, with strong comprehensive strength and high professional quality." Wang Jinhua, judge of the competition and agricultural director of Guangming Homeport, believes that the preliminary competition , Each team made full use of scientific and technological means to break the traditional concept of planting, and the submitted plans were brilliant.

  In the end, after comprehensive consideration, 4 teams advanced to the finals.

Among them, the team of the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences is led by Dr. He Lizhong from the Horticulture Institute. The team members have rich theoretical and practical experience in facility cultivation and smart agriculture. They have provided training on vegetable planting in extreme environments for Chinese Antarctic expedition members.

  Another shortlisted Shanghai team, led by Professor Bao Hua from Shanghai Jiaotong University, has assembled a strong team of interdisciplinary research forces in agricultural engineering, energy utilization, mechanical engineering, and computer science.

With the support of Shanghai Jiaotong University's "Deep Blue Plan" project "Sea Self-sustaining Vegetable Planting Platform without Energy Consumption", the team jointly built a system based on solar photovoltaic, photothermal utilization, organically combined with automatic control and floating plate cultivation technology, and initially realized Matching and performance optimization of light, water, fertilizer and other factors.

  The other two promotion teams are from Beijing, and they are all "King's teachers".

Among them, members of the CyberFarmer team are young scientists from the Key Laboratory of Facility Agricultural Engineering of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China Agricultural University.

They formed a joint team with HortiGraph in the first "Dodo Agricultural Research Technology Competition" and won the AI ​​group championship.

The Lettus Grow team is led by Xu Dan, general manager of Beijing Polestar Agriculture.

They have supplied lettuce for the Beijing Olympics and the Winter Olympics, and they have just won the first place in the second "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition" not long ago. They are a rising "star team".

The finals of the 3rd "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition" will be held in Shanghai Guangming Homeport Vertical Agriculture Research Center.

  It is worth mentioning that this preliminary competition of the Todo Agricultural Research Institute is a challenge with a very high "both rate".

According to the data, among the 93 young contestants who participated in the competition, 39 were doctors, accounting for nearly 42%.

For the four finalists, the "both rate" is as high as 58.3%.

The competition in the final is more intense: agronomists compete with two former champions of engineering doctors on the same stage

  Why does the container planting of lettuce need a group of top talents to study it?

  "The 'Cuitian Lettuce' used in the competition is a brand-new variety. We believe that the contestants are capable of growing them, but how to grow them well is a big problem. Temperature, light, water, fertilizer, and air are just this link, the photoperiod The combination of these three elements, spectrum and photon density, will greatly affect the yield and variety of crops, not to mention other major environmental elements. The difficulty of controlling their superposition can be said to increase exponentially." Wang Jinhua said.

  To a certain extent, greenhouse planting can rely on natural light and "depending on the weather", while container planting relies on artificial adjustment of environmental factors, which has lower fault tolerance for manual decision-making and greater challenges.

Moreover, energy cost is one of the biggest challenges faced by plant factories, and how to reduce energy consumption is a practical issue related to product promotion and consumer interests.

  At present, the planting plans submitted by the preliminary contestants can be divided into two types. One is that agricultural scholars start with the needs and laws of crop cultivation, combine traditional planting experience with artificial intelligence, and complement each other's advantages to obtain better planting results; The other category is that engineering experts use lettuce planting as an application scenario to solve practical problems in agricultural production with cutting-edge technologies.

  "This year's preliminary competition, there are many talents, and many teams have not only theoretical analysis, but also practical experience, which fully shows that the field of plant factories has reached the tuyere of industrialization, attracting many rising stars to enter the industry." This is the third time as a He Dongxian, a professor at China Agricultural University, who is a judge of the "Duoduo Agricultural Research Technology Competition", said with emotion that it is very difficult for the judges to score because of the high quality of the participating teams.

"This competition pays more attention to the integration and integration of actual combat experience and intelligent technology analysis. We look forward to the four teams that have won the preliminary competition making persistent efforts to collide with the spark of the intersection of industry and agriculture in the final, and also precipitate the growth space for the integration of industry, academia, and research."

  Zhu Weimin believes that in the combination of engineering and agronomy, the contestants can conduct more in-depth thinking and exploration in the final stage.

"Agricultural students often have insufficient understanding of engineering such as energy, control, and intelligence, and engineering students have insufficient basic understanding of agronomy. Continuous learning and progress with their peers in the competition will help improve their ability to solve practical problems in agriculture."

  In addition to the duel between agronomists and engineering doctors, the upcoming finals have many highlights.

For example, in the Shanghai scheme of urban agriculture and the results in Beijing, who grows lettuce is the almighty king of "quality, yield, and energy consumption"?

Another example, will there be a "Lettuce Champion" between the "Strawberry Champion" CyberFarmer Team and the "Tomato Champion" Lettus Grow Team?

  "The results of the previous two competitions have verified that digital technology and artificial intelligence can effectively empower agriculture, and smart agriculture has great potential." Zhu Jianchong, senior vice president of Pinduoduo, said, "This year, we will jointly hold the third competition with Guangming Homeport. In collaboration with all parties in the industry, we will continue to use the form of agricultural research competitions to help promote the aggregation of industrial resource elements, solve key common problems faced by industry development, build consensus, and promote the rapid development of smart agriculture."