Interview with Erik Denkhaus, Plant Scientist at Agrilution

In this interview, Erik Denkhuis, plant scientist at Agrilution, tells about his work as a plant scientist. 

"I was first drawn to the vertical farming industry during my studies and the research being done into using VF to grow and harvest foreign proteins for, for example, vaccine production. Now it is all about how do we make our food systems more resilient and how Vertical Farming fits into that picture of the future."

What is your typical day like as a plant scientist?
Coming to work is a little bit different every day, it all depends on where you are in an experiment of a development cycle. A typical day would involve monitoring and gathering data from the various running experiments. We would also then be involved in how these experimental results can be implemented in a real-world setting to better our product with the aim to improve the customer experience.

What skills and qualifications do I need to get this job?
To be effective in your role as a plant scientist in the vertical farming industry, you ideally should have either a background in plant physiology or agronomy. However, if you are motivated to learn, any biological studies will serve you well as there is are many fields that are active in a vertical farm.

How many hours do you usually work, and on what days? Do you have interns who you give the boring tasks?
The workload can fluctuate depending on when you schedule your harvesting or seeding times as these are typically the most time-intensive jobs. Having said that, there is never a moment when there is nothing to do, but that is what keeps the job interesting and exciting.

What are you currently working on? What impact could it have on vertical and indoor farming industry?
Currently, our main focus is on trying to provide the best system possible for a customer to grow healthy leafy greens in their home. We are working on ways to increase the growth speed of the plants while maintaining the most intense flavor. We also have our eye on the possibilities which using a controlled environment gives us, namely using the environment to direct and change the growth of the plant, be that physical appearance or chemical make-up of the secondary metabolites.

For more information:
Agrilution GmbH
Centa-Hafenbrädl-Str. 61
81249 München, Germany 

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