Wednesday, December 19, 2018  |  Login

Keynote Speakers

Workshops in small interactive groups form the heart of the Smart AgriMatics conference. Nevertheless we like to embed these workshops in a plenary opening and closing session for which we invited several renowned keynote speakers that will inspire us with ideas during or after the conference. At the same time, we hope that these speakers will be inspired by you and that they will be our ambassodors at their influential postion in business, research and policy making. A short CV of the keynote speakers can be found on this page.

Opening session

Chair:  Sjaak Wolfert (LEI Wageningen UR, scientific project coordinator of agriXchange and SmartAgriFood)

  • The architecture of the Future Internet and its implications for the Agri-Food sector - Adrie Beulens (Wageningen University, The Netherlands, member of the Architecture Board of the Future Internet Public Private Partnership program)
  • Data objects and information exchange for whole chain traceability - Steve Holcombe (Pardalis, United States, catalyzer of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium™ a/k/a @WholeChainTrace)
  • Public-Private Partnerships for ICT and Robotics in agriculture – value chain analysis - Niels Goetke (Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Denmark, overall responsible for ICT-agri) and Timothy Hall (DG Research and Innovation)

Closing session

Chair: Krijn Poppe (Wageningen UR, The Netherlands)

  • A view from a large international ICT company, active in the European research area - Nuria de Lama, Representative of Atos Research & Innovation to the EC, Spain
  • European policy and strategy - DG Research (t.b.c.)
  • The agricultural industry's point of view - Peter Pickel, deputy director John Deere European Technology and Innovation Center and chairman of the working group Agricultural Engineering & Technology of the European Technology Platform Manufuture

Sjaak Wolfert
Dr. Sjaak Wolfert studied Plant Science with a specialisation in Crop Ecophysiology at Wageningen University. From the same university he received a Ph.D. degree in 2002 on his dissertation ‘Sustainable agriculture: how to make it work?’
Since 2001, he is working as a senior scientific researcher at the Plant Department of the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI) in The Hague. Since 2009 he is also assistant-professor at the Information Technology group of Wageningen University. His main research areas are systems analysis, information management & ICT and sustainable development. He is involved as researcher and coordinator in several national, international and EU-funded projects. Amongst others, he is coordinating SmartAgriFood and agriXchange.
From 2007 to 2009 he was president of the European Federation of ICT in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (EFITA); he was also president of its Dutch national member organisation (VIAS). More information:

Back to top


Adrie Beulens

Prof. Ir. Adrie J.M. Beulens, Chair LDI–INF group, is Professor of Information Systems. His expertise includes: Information Systems, Information Management, Model and Knowledge Based DSS, Logistics and Operations Management in Supply Chain Networks. He supervised more than 15 PhD’s. Prof. Beulens is member of Netherlands Society for Operations Research and its section NGB, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, Dutch Association of Informatics, Dutch association of Informatics Professionals in the Food and Agribusiness (VIAS), IFIP-TC7 representative of the Netherlands, member of TC7.6, Gesellschaft für Operations Research, Dutch Association of Chartered Informatics professionals. He authored and co-authored many papers and book chapters. Currently he is  of the Archticture Board within the Future Internet Public Private Partnership Programme (FI-PPP) on behalf of the SmartAgriFood project.

Back to Top

Steve Holcombe

Steve Holcombe received a Bachelor of Arts in 1979 from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri where he studied biology. He received a Juris Doctorate in 1982 from the University of Tulsa, College of Law, where he served on the Tulsa Law Review. From 1982 to 2003 Holcombe had a varied and interesting legal career including the prosecution of murder as a state prosecutor, representation of commercial and banking clients, and defense of an oilfield service company in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failure to report the storage of certain hazardous chemicals. It was the latter which lead Holcombe into involvement in advanced information technologies and, eventually, the co-invention in 2001 of Informational object authoring and distribution system, U.S. Patent 6,671,696. Also issued in or pending in many countries outside of the U.S

Since 2003 Holcombe has dedicated his professional career to leading Pardalis, Inc. Following the U.S. “mad cow” case of late 2003 the USDA asserted that a mandatory livestock identification program would be implemented. Pardalis developed and deployed a multi-tenant, enterprise-class SaaS application to the complex U.S. beef supply chain for depositing, sharing and tracking data assets. Promising revenues were generated until the USDA announced in 2006 that there would be no mandatory program.
More recent activities (2007-2012) include catalyzing the informal formation of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium between Pardalis and four major U.S. land grant universities. These activities culminated in late 2011 in the USDA funding of a successful research funding strategy for “whole chain” communications in food and agricultural supply chains (beginning with a beef cattle pilot demonstration). Holcombe is the manager of the Data Ownership in the Cloud networking group on LinkedIn currently comprised of approximately 1,000 professionals. A recently co-authored publication relevant to his keynote is The Tipping Point Has Arrived: Trust & Provenance in Web Communications.

Back to top

Krijn Poppe
Krijn J. Poppe is a business economist working in the management of  the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI) of Wageningen University and Research Centre, located in The Hague, the Netherlands. He is involved in the management of several large, multidisciplinary research projects for the EU. Publications focus on agricultural policy issues, monitoring, competitiveness of the European food sector, the agricultural knowledge and innovation system and ICT.
From 2009 – 2011 he worked part-time as Chief Science Officer for Agro-Chains and Fisheries at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. This was an advisory role on the use of science in policy making and on identifying future research needs of the Ministry. In this role he co-chaired an EU collaborative working group on Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems and edited its report.
Krijn J. Poppe was for 12 years (1999-2011) Secretary-General of the European Association of Agricultural Economists. He chairs the Steering Group of the journal EuroChoices, chairs the foundation eRNAC on research concerning cooperatives. He was until a few years ago a non-executive director of the Dutch cooperative Nautilus (active in organic vegetables) and co-owns a small arable family farm in Flevoland.

Back to top

Nuria De Lama Sanchez
Nuria de Lama Sanchez studied Telecommunications Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She has been working more than 12 years in Research & Development in IT in different environments. After several years managing the department of International projects in an SME specialized in wireless and mobile technologies she joined Atos in 2005, where she first led a Research Unit on Rural and Industrial development. In 2006 she was appointed Head of the Research unit on Semantics, Software and Service Engineering and since 2010 she is Representative of Atos Research and Innovation to the European Commission.
In that position she is responsible for the coordination of European research activities, definition and implementation of the R&D strategy as well as contribution to business development and coordination of Atos activities in the so call PPPs (Public-Private Partnership) initiatives, mainly in Future Internet.
She has wide experience in EU programmes, having acted as evaluator, reviewer and speaker in many conferences for the EC. In 2006 she became chair of the Service Engineering WG at the INES[1] platform and contributed actively to working groups in NESSI[2] and other European Technology Platforms and initiatives (ENoLL, OISPG, Net!Works and the CELTIC PLUS programme, to name a few). She is currently active member of the FI-WARE project and the Future Internet PPP Steering Board.

[1] INES is the Spanish Platform on Software and Services

[2] NESSI stands for Networked European Software & Services Initiative

Back to top

Peter Pickel

Prof. Dr. Peter Pickel is Employed at John Deere Werke Mannheim since Apr. 2007. Since June 15th 2010 Deputy Director John Deere European Technology and Innovation Center. He holds a MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin (1988) and received a PhD from the same university in 1993 on the topic ‘Simulation of Tractor Ride Vibration’







Career Highlights:

  • Employed at Technical University of Berlin, Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Construction Machinery. Jun. 88 – May 93
  • Employed at a Berlin SME “KLIMASYSTEMTECHNIK” – Development of software for simulation of the thermal and energetic behavior of commercial buildings including air flow, air conditioning plants, and economical assessment tools (industrial R&D with public funding).  Oct. 93 – July 95
  • Manager at a railroad technology enterprise “RAILTEC/RABOTEC” (in the Mannheim region – later taken over by GE). Aug. 95 – Dec. 97
  • Manager Product Engineering at VOEGELE (Mannheim, subsidiary company of the WIRTGEN Group, product group: street pavers). Jan. 98 – Sep. 99
  • Professor for Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Technology and Communal Machinery at the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg. Jan. 00 – Mar. 10
  • Dean of the Agricultural Faculty at the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg Oct. 03 – Sep. 06
  • Director of the Institute for Agricultural Engineering. Apr. 00 – Sep. 06
  • Manager Tractor Applications at JDWM. Apr. 07 – Jun. 10

Experience and Capabilities:

  • EU research politics and funding strategies
  • Integrated and sustainable agricultural process technologies and (process) automation concepts (including ICT technologies)
  • Energetic conversion of biomass and Biofuels
  • Electric, hydraulic and hybrid drive train concepts for mobile machinery
  • Energy supply concepts for rural areas

 Interests & Concerns:

  • Automation technology in agricultural production
  • Sustainable energy supply for agricultural machine systems
  • Electrification of machines

Affiliations, Organizations:

  • German Engineering Societies (VDI-MEG as a co-chair)
  • Chair of the European Sub-Technology Platform for Agricultural Engineering and Technologies (MANUFUTURE AET)






© 2013, Smart AgriMatics  |  Design: van der Waal Webdesign