“Managing a Vertical farm” is an intensive course where students will be immersed in the world of indoor farming. The course focuses on the practical side of the cultivation process, but the technological-, hygiene- and business aspects of indoor farming are also important themes in the course taught at the InHolland University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch, the Netherlands.

Anouk van Rossum, business developer horticulture at HAS University of Applied Sciences, is enthusiastic about the cooperation: "In this relatively small market, you better amplify each other than compete with each other. InHolland University of Applied Sciences is active in the EFRO- project Fieldlab Vertical Farming, a cooperation between all the knowledge institutes and companies in the vertical farming business in the South of Holland. The knowledge of the business and the network itself are important assets of the course.

More knowledge and training
Martijn Haas, training coordinator at InHolland Academy for business, is enthusiastic: "The student will experience the advantages of our cooperation with an extended team of lecturers. We now have even more expertise and experience in our team. Roël Chin-Kon-Sung, an expert in sustainable energy, agriculture and horticulture, and circular economy, is the course's figurehead. Next to Roël, Wendy Martin is involved in the course."

Independent point of view
From HAS University of Applied Sciences, Jasper den Besten, professor of New Cultivating systems, has been involved with the course for a long time. He has been involved in the developments surrounding vertical farming in the Netherlands from the start. He also has experience in a wide variety of crops, from herbs to vegetables to tree nurseries products and floriculture. Jasper about the course: “In a short time, we introduce the students to all the aspects which are involved in starting and running a vertical farm. They experience a first cultivation, learn about technical- and business aspects and get to know the suppliers of the technique and systems. They will discover what is needed for a healthy business model and will be prepared for interviews with an independent perspective with their future suppliers."

Visit to Brightbox
Jasper is also the manager of BrightBox Venlo, which students will visit at the start of the course. In this hypermodern glasshouse facility, all factors which can influence the growth of a plant (light, air, temperature, nutrition, water, and soil) can be individually controlled.

Jasper: "At Brightbox, research is done on a large scale on innovations in vertical farming. In this way, HAS is involved in the study of VitalFluid, where lettuce is grown with natural nitrogen. For this kind of research, Brightbox is the ideal research  facility."

The course “Managing a vertical farm” starts on the 16th of November.