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New honorary professor with an eye to future farming

CEO Ole Green from the company Agrointelli has been appointed Honorary Professor in technology and intelligent solution in the Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University. This strengthens the department’s connection between research and innovation. 

2017.08.11 | Janne Hansen

Ole Green has been appointed as honorary professor in the Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University. Photo: Agrointelli

Aarhus University has appointed CEO Ole Green from the company Agrointelli as Honorary Professor in technology and intelligent solutions for sustainable soil management with effect from August 1, 2017. The professorship is in the Department of Agroecology and runs until July 31, 2022.

Even though he is an inventor par excellence, you must not think that Ole Green is a nerdy and eccentric Gyro Gearloose type. He has both feet planted firmly on the ground, flair for practical problem solving, and a direct view to the future.  

At an age of 39 years, Ole Green is not only the latest but also the youngest professor in the Department of Agroecology. He has already had a breathtaking and starry career that has been sprinkled with awards, recognition, and appointments in a strong mix of research and innovation. 

- What drives me is to create tools for practitioners – tools that can be used to increase the individual farm’s profitability as well as the environmental and financial sustainability of the farm’s plant production, says Ole Green. 

Breathtaking career

Ole Green is trained as a farmer and has managed his own farm since 2004. He became an agro engineer in 2004 and completed his M.Sc. in Agriculture in 2006. This was followed by a PhD in 2010, which he carried out at the Department of Engineering, Aarhus University. He was awarded Aarhus University Research Foundation’s PhD prize for his PhD thesis ”Monitoring of stored and processed agricultural biomass by remote wireless technology”. 

Despite busyness with his PhD studies – during which time he was also head of a research group – Ole Green’s desire for invention and innovation could not be kept at bay, so he established his own business, Webstech, in 2009. The company won the Agro Business Park Innovation Prize the same year and developed several products that won recognition and awards. 

In 2012 Ole Green appeared on Danish television in the medias DR’s and Mandag Morgen’s TV programme about growth companies, VÆXTFaktor. He won the most viewer votes and an impressive second place in the contest with his invention – a small plastic ball that contains sensors and wireless technology that can monitor the farmer’s stores of grain, seeds and silage. The sensor balls won the prestigious Ingeniørens Produktpris the same year, a product prize awarded by the leading technology media Ingeniøren. 

Research and innovation in one person

Ole Green established AgroIntelli in 2015. With its strong background in and connection to research, the new company develops innovative and efficient technological products for producers of farm machinery. Agrointelli has 17 permanent employees and 9 project employees from Denmark and abroad. 

As if all this was not enough, Ole Green was a senior researcher at the Department of Engineering from 2011 to 2013. He has been appointed a seat on Seges’ Future Farming Advisory Board. And now he is back at Aarhus University as an honorary professor at the Department of Agroecology. 

- As a trained farmer, agricultural scientist and engineer my profile goes very well together with what the Department of Agroecology works with, namely soil, plants and intelligent technological solutions that can improve agricultural production, and make it more profitable, sustainable and robust. All four of the department’s research flagships are in line with the areas in which Agrointelli works, says Ole Green.

The goal is a more sustainable agriculture

The new professor never did cut his bond to the research world so the move to honorary professorship is not huge. In fact, Ole Green is presently involved in 10 research products in collaboration with the Department of Agroecology – projects that have been granted more than 167 million kroner from various funding bodies. The projects focus on various aspects of crop production with an emphasis on technological solutions.  

- I have an ideological approach to my work: My goal is not only to earn money but also to contribute to improving agriculture. We must give our children something that is better than what we have today – not worse. I do not feel we are living up to that. Agriculture has challenges regarding soil tillage and soil compaction, among other things. Soil is a growth medium that we must nurture as a basis for our production, says Ole Green and continues:

- We must focus more on sustainability, especially with regard to soil management – and that must be done with the aid of technology. My ambition with the professorship is to contribute to giving the Department of Agroecology an even stronger agrotechnical approach. 

The position will underpin and support industrial research and public-private collaboration and improve the department’s commercial contact. The head of the Department of Agroecology, Erik Steen Kristensen, is pleased with the appointment of the new professor.

- With the appointment of Ole Green as honorary professor in the Department of Agroecology we are formalising the strong bonds of collaboration that we already have. Ole Green is visionary and innovative, good at research, funding and futuristic thinking, and has a strong network, says Erik Steen Kristensen.

Ole Green will give his inaugural lecture on October 24, 2017 in AU Foulum and October 31, 2017 in AU Flakkebjerg.  

For more information please contact:

Head of Department Erik Steen Kristensen, Department of Agroecology, email: erik@agro.au.dk, telephone: +45 8715 7775, mobile: +45 2091 0371

CEO, Honorary Professor Ole Green, Agrointelli, email: olg@agrointelli.com, telephone: +45 5185 4406

Agro, DCA