Grow-NY Summit to inspire conversation and innovation

The fourth annual Grow-NY Summit will bring together food and agriculture startups and industry players at Syracuse Oncenter on November 15-16, highlighting the spaces where farms and food, innovation and sustainability overlap .

Cornell’s 2030 Project will serve as the inspiration for the two-day symposium, which will include panels and fireside discussions about its mission to seek practical, real-world climate solutions in the agribusiness sector.

“This year’s Grow-NY competition is a powerful example of The 2030 Project’s ambitions to mobilize the Cornell community, in partnership with entrepreneurs across New York State and around the world, to take action on climate change and grow the food and farms of the future,” said Ben Furnas, Executive Director of the 2030 Project.

The Grow-NY Food and Agriculture business competition serves as a platform not only for innovation, but also to spark conversations that encourage progress in food and agriculture while tackling the biggest issues facing faced by agri-food systems.

The summit, which can be attended in person or virtually, will include a pitch competition featuring 20 startups from around the world. On Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m., a virtual awards presentation will announce the four $250,000 and two $500,000 winners, as well as one grand prize recipient of $1 million.

The event will be an opportunity for experts from various sectors to exchange new ideas and challenge existing ones. They will also be able to network at the Ecosystem Expo, where startups, incubators, economic development agencies, small business partners and other organizations that support the innovation ecosystem in New York State come together. to share their services.

The opening session of the symposium, “The 2030 Project: Driving to Net Zero in Food and Agriculture,” at 9 a.m. on November 15, will feature Lynden A. Archer, Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering, and Catharine Young , executive director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell Agritech. Archer and Young will talk about engineering food security, preparing for a warming world and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, a goal of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of New York.

Other sessions led by Cornellian will include:

  • Finding Common Ground: Traditions and Alternatives in Protein Production (9:20-10:15 a.m., November 15): This roundtable, moderated by Sam Alcaine, MS ’07, associate professor of food science at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and founder and CEO of Grow -Norwhey NY runner-up Brewing will discuss whether dairy, meat and plant-based protein producers can contribute to a positive-sum system.
  • Agri-food alchemy: fight against food waste and create circularity (2-3 p.m., Nov. 15): This conversation, moderated by Lori Leonard, professor and first chair in the Department of Global Development (CAL)will discuss new technologies that allow farmers and food producers to turn food waste into profitable products such as animal feed and fuel while complying with New York’s organic waste ban on landfilling.
  • Farm of the Future Staffing: Technologies, Capabilities and Skills (9-9:55 a.m., Nov. 16): This panel, moderated by Richard Stup, Agricultural Workforce Development Program Manager at CALS and Senior Outreach Associate at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, will analyze opportunities and barriers to the adoption of robotics and other forms of automation by farms and food producers.
  • Moonshots: rethinking 21st century agri-food systems (9:55 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., Nov. 16): A fireside chat featuring Benjamin Z. Houlton, Dean Ronald P. Lynch of CALS, and Young will discuss how big ideas and innovative thinking across disciplines are the answer to nurturing people and planet as interconnected systems.
  • Accelerating New York’s Bioeconomy: Innovative Production of Food, Fiber and Raw Materials (4-5 p.m., Nov. 16): Led by Jillian Goldfarb, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at CALS, this roundtable will examine the role that innovation in the biomaterials sector can play in creating economic opportunities for agriculture and food production.
  • Innovations in scaling up: sustainable food production in New York and the Northeast (5-5:30 p.m., November 16): In the closing session of the symposium, Jenn Smith, Director of the Grow-NY Program, and Richard Ball, Commissioner of the State Department of Agriculture and Markets New York, will share their plans to develop vibrant local and regional food systems networks among small, medium, and large farms and food production facilities in New York State, as well as those in the Northeast.

“Each year, the Grow-NY Summit strives to drive progress in our agriculture and food systems, showcasing startups and industry players who are taking integral action to improve the way we feed our planet” , Smith said. “With Cornell’s role and the nature of the summit, we are in a unique position to spark debate and foster conversation for the benefit of New York’s agribusiness community, and all members of this community are invited to join the dialogue. .”

All-access registration for the Grow-NY Summit is $50, $25 for students, and virtual registration is free. For more information and to register, visit

Lauren Simpson is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

Comments are closed.