Field lab Rotterdam Zoo offers space for animals and innovation
Rotterdam Zoo opened its doors in 1855, which makes it one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands. So in a way it is remarkable that this historic location in Rotterdam has been a ‘field lab’ for testing the latest technological innovations since 2014. What makes the zoo unique is its size: with 28 hectares it is the size of a small neighbourhood. The water management system makes it a particularly interesting case for VPdelta, the Delta Technology & Water Valorisation Program at TU Delft. Here, controlled testing can be done with promising innovations. The goal: cities that remain liveable in the future.
“For many startups this is the ultimate testing ground,” says Lindsey Schwidder enthusiastically. She works as Project Manager Water Innovations at VPdelta and has been driving the collaboration between VPdelta and Rotterdam Zoo for 3.5 years. The startups in their portfolio are eager to test innovations in the zoo or have already started, which is why it is buzzing with innovative ideas.