International Forum of
Agricultural Robotics

FIRA 2019 Speakers

Introducing Fira 2019

Alexei Grinbaum




Robots serving field crops

Prof. Dr. Pickel, Peter

Deputy Director European Technology Innovation Center

Prof. Dr. Pickel, Peter (Belgique)

John Deere GmbH & Co. KG

Since 2007, Prof. Dr. Peter Pickel has been being employed at John Deere (JD). As the Deputy Director of the JD European Technology Innovation Center (Kaiserslautern, Germany), Peter Pickel manages research and development of advanced technology. Within JD, Peter Pickel and his team lead all publicly funded R&D activities in EU zone and external technology relationships. Since 2019, Pickel is honorary professor at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern.

Robots serving breeding

Timo Joosten

Global Head of Product Management

Timo Joosten (Netherland)

Lely International NV

Born in the Netherlands in 1978, I got infected with the dairy farmers virus through my grandfather and uncle. After graduation as an agricultural engineer (Bsc) specialized in dairy at the Van Hall institute Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, I continued my study to become a Master of Science (Msc) in Agricultural Business at Greenwich University, London.

After my thesis for Lely “the development of the franchise model (Lely Centers)”, my wife and I decided to put theory into practice by starting our own dairy farm in Ampoigné, Mayenne, France in 2003. Started with 50 cows and 100 hectares we were able to expand it to 100 cows and 140 hectares and becoming a robotic dairy farmer ourselves.

Through the role of commercial trainer I brought my practical experience back into the Lely organization as of 2007, where in 2013 I became worldwide responsible for the consultancy department known under the name of FMS (Farm Management Support), which led to the decision to sell the farm.

Early 2015 I took over the end responsibility as Senior Product Manager Milking & Cooling for the whole product range of the Lely Astronaut Robotic Milking System, its peripherals and the Lely T4C farm management software. Since the 1st of January 2018 this responsibility has extended towards the full Dairy portfolio of Lely being the Head of Product Management.

Agricultural robotics storms global market

Christian Kirchhoff


Christian Kirchhoff (Germany)

K.U.L.T. Kress Umweltschonende Landtechnik GmbH

Christian Kirchhoff, born in 1960, is an agricultural engineer. After completing his studies in Agricultural Sciences in Nürtingen, Germany, he worked as a farmhand. In 1991 he joined the company Kress (since 2012 the company is called K.U.L.T. Kress Umweltschonende Landtechnik) and in 1995 he became Managing Director. The company successfully develops individual solutions for hoeing machines and is well-known for the Kress fingerweeders.

Robots serving fruits and vegetables production


Chief Operating Officer

Céline FRANQUESA (France)


Regulatory Frameworks and Standards for Agricultural Robots: what is the state of art?

Felicia Stoica

Deputy Head of Unit ‘Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Systems – Unit C3’

Felicia Stoica (Belgium)

European Commission, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Mrs. Felicia Stoica is Deputy Head of Unit in the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME of European Commission, in the Unit responsible, among others, with the competitiveness and legal safety framework for mechanical and electrical engineering sectors. Some of her tasks combine the management of internal market legislation in the mechanical engineering sector with providing expertise for international regulatory dialogues in the area of robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.

Previously to joining the Commission, Mrs. Stoica worked in private sector as global market analyst in a chemical company. Mrs. Stoica is a diplomat engineer from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, holding a master degree in European studies from Universite Pierre Mendes France, Grenoble.

Robots serving fruits and vegetables production



Gaëtan SEVERAC (France)


Co-founder – with Aymeric Barthes – of Naïo Technologies, a company that develops and markets agricultural robots.

I began my studies with a bachelor degree in technology and computer science, before taking an master degree in engineering – robotics major – and then a PhD at ONERA, a French space research center. Passionated about robotics, I’m convinced that it is a valuable asset in agriculture both to facilitate farmers daily tasks and to work towards more sustainable production methods. This vision drives the spirit of Naïo Technologies, founded in 2011 and which now employs 65 people.

Regulatory Frameworks and Standards for Agricultural Robots: what is the state of art?

Henri Biès Péré

2ème Vice-Président FNSEA

Henri Biès Péré (France)


Regulatory Frameworks and Standards for Agricultural Robots: what is the state of art?

Ivo Hostens

Technical Director

Ivo Hostens (Belgium)


Dr. Ivo Hostens is a bio-engineer holding a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences, by the University of Leuven, BE. After several years in technical consultancy, he joined AGORIA the Belgian Federation for the Technological Industry as senior expert in horizontal technical legislation. In this function he also coordinated the technical work in CEMA. Since 2015 he works fulltime for CEMA as technical director and defends the interests of its 4,500 European agricultural machinery manufacturers. Since 2019 the function of secretary general of EurAgEng, the European Society for Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering is also part of his duties.

Regulatory Frameworks and Standards for Agricultural Robots: what is the state of art?


Programme Manager

Jose BRAMBILA (Belgium / France)


Dr Brambila is the Programme Manager of the OECD Tractor Codes. His main areas of expertise include the simplification of international trade procedures by increasing transparency, reducing technical barriers and contributing to the international harmonization of standards and inspection procedures. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Economics.  Before joining OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate, he worked for the University of Reading as a Research Fellow and as a consultant for FAO’s Trade and Markets Division.

Robots serving field crops



Ole Green (Denmark)

Agro Intelligence ApS

Ole Green has been working with technical R&D since he founded his first company at the age of 18. He is CEO at AgroIntelli, adjunct professor at Aarhus University, engineer, contractor, inventor, and farmer. In 2018 he was awarded the Innovator of the Year prize by the Innovation Foundation Denmark for having built a bridge between key research and industry.

Robots serving fruits and vegetables production

François Gabriel FEUGIER


François Gabriel FEUGIER (France)

Green Shield Technology


Benoit EGON

Journalist, Editor-In-Chief of Agricultural Machinery Section

Benoit EGON (France)


Benoît Egon is a journalist and the editor-in-chief of the section of Agricultural Machinery at Terre-net Média. He has been working the agricultural machinery sector for nearly 20 years. After having obtained an engineering degree in Agricultural Techniques and a European master’s degree in Marketing, he worked for a range of manufacturers such as  Fendt, Massey Ferguson, Same, Deutz-Fahr. He joined the Terre-net Media team in 2010. Benoit is an electronics, computer and artificial intelligence enthusiast and takes a close interest in agricultural robotics.


David Frabotta

Editorial Market Development Director

David Frabotta (USA)


David Frabotta is Editorial Market Development Director for Meister Media Worldwide’s Global Precision Initiative and AgriBusiness Global. He is an award-winning journalist and has worked in agriculture and agronomy for 12+ years. He has developed conferences and exhibitions that advocate and advance crop production technologies throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas and continues to explore next-generation technologies that are poised to become the tomorrow’s best practices for agriculture.

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