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NL: ‘How does a plant react in an indoor farm?’

Last Tuesday, March 28, the World Horti Center in the Netherlands organized the fourth edition of ∑-Grow Inside. An energetic panel of four dived into the topic: ‘How does a plant react in an indoor farm?’. The results of the Fieldlab Vertical Farming formed the basis of their discussion. All four-panel members worked on this research. After two years of hard work, they shared their first insights with the audience.

Energetic panel
On Tuesday, March 28, an energetic panel had a lively discussion during the fourth ∑-Grow Inside seminar. The panel of four existed of Gert-Jan van Staalduinen, CEO at Logiqs, Laura Bautista, Project Leader of Vertical Farming at Delphy B.V., Stefan van de Voort, Plant Specialist Indoor Farming at Philips Horticulture LED Solutions, and Caterina Carpineti, Researcher Vertical Farming at Wageningen University and Research.

Together they dived into the topic: ‘How does a plant react on an indoor farm?’. The basis of their discussion was formed by the Fieldlab Vertical Farming, this research project started on January 1, 2020. All four-panel members are directly involved in the research, which is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Matthijs van den Beukel acted as moderator during the seminar and presented several statements to the audience and panel.

Close community
From the beginning of the research, the goal was to share knowledge and learn together. To do so, the group had to become a close community where they could safely share their findings, all based on mutual trust. Two years ago, the group started their research project with the question: ‘Can we grow the same product everywhere in terms of yield and quality with the same setpoints?’. The short answer to that is ‘no.’

During the research, the group found out that the design of various indoor farms plays a major role in the performance of plants. Despite the same setpoints, the difference in design creates another outcome. Even within one vertical farm, it can be challenging to create a homogeneous climate and manage irrigation.

With the project coming to an end later this year, there’s still a lot to discover about the relationship between technology and plants. That’s why the group decided to continue, this time with even more partners. For those interested, the first results of the project are open to the public and can be found online.

From left to right: Gert-Jan van Staalduinen, Caterina Carpineti, Laura Bautista, Stefan van de Voort en Matthijs van den Beukel. 

Next ∑-Grow Inside
The  ∑-Grow Inside series continues this June, with the fifth seminar on June 27, 2023. The topic for this edition will be communicated in the coming months. The ∑-Grow Inside series is part of the ∑-Grow pavilion at World Horti Center and is organized in close cooperation with the community Indoor Farming NL and supported by GreenTech, FarmTech Society, and Greenport West-Holland.

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