News and Events
11 November 2021
AgTech Institute Newsletter November 2021Read our latest newsletter here ! Twice a year the TU Delft AgTech Institute sends out a newsletter. In the November 2021 edition you can read about our new colleagues, the GreenTech 2021, the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, AI in strawberry chain, Levels of greenhouse autonomy, Urban Greenhouse Challenge, Events and Short news. If you want to stay up-to-date and get our content immediately, make sure to follow our LinkedIn page .
25 October 2021
GreenTech 2021 Live&OnlineLast month, the GreenTech Live & Online event took place at RAI Amsterdam. The TU Delft was present with Liselotte de Vries (Chairman Innovation Award Jury, TU Delft AgTech Institute) handing out the Green Tech Innovation Awards 2021 and with a presentation from Andy Jenkins and Tess Blom on vertical farming and Ties van Bruinessen on the TU Delft RoboHouse. During the opening ceremony Liselotte handed out the concept award for the most promising new idea and the innovation award for the most revolutionary idea. The concept award was won by Corvus Drones , who’s drones fly autonomously in greenhouses and collect crop data. The jury was impressed by their business model, a subscription model, and their platform concept, which stimulates collaboration between partners with different expertise. The winner of the Innovation Award is Van Iperen . Van Iperen turns nitrogen from organic sources into a fertilizer, using their GreenSwitch® Original. Liselotte: ‘They really took a systems approach. They tied together different actors in the chain, and we believe they can make a worldwide impact with this solution. ‘ Andy Jenkins and Tess Blom discussed the first research results of the ‘Sky High’ project at TU Delft. The research has focus on the potential of vertical farms integrated within buildings and cities. The central concept of ‘urban symbiosis’, in which resources between a building and a vertical farm are exchanged could result in a decrease of the usage of CO 2 , water and energy. For example, the CO 2 emmission from a building could be transmitted to the vertical farm, where it is used for the growth of plants. In a similar way, the residual heat from the vertical farm can be used for heating the building. The project aims to make the energy usage of vertical farms comparable to the energy usage of greenhouses, reduce the amount of water used for crop growth to 2-4 liters per kilo crop and increase the taste, shelf life and nutrition value of crops with at least 20%. In the afternoon Ties van Bruinessen, business developer at the TU Delft, presented on the possibilities of robotics in the Agrifood sector, in relation to RoboHouse. RoboHouse is the robotics fieldlab at the TU Delft campus and enables research and prototyping on the future of work including collaboration between humans and robots. RoboHouse is a place where researchers and companies collaborate and co-create on robotic solutions. In the field of food and retail, RoboHouse currently collaborates with companies like Ahold Delhaize and Heineken. Ties: “The position between companies and research is exactly where RoboHouse fits in.” The beating heart of RoboHouse are the Working Labs, which can be described as themed prototyping environments, for example focused on AgriFood, retail, health and production.
03 June 2021
Vacature: Business Developer AgTechWe are expanding our team! Get to know high-tech solutions before they hit the market. As a Business Developer at TU Delft, you link the newest high-tech solutions to the Dutch food, agri and horticultural sector - which are at the forefront worldwide - and international partners. How can the latest technologies be used to combat food waste? One of the questions that you, as a Business Developer for the TU Delft AgTech Institute, answer by starting up projects together with researchers and industry. Connecting scientific research to real business challenges. Check the vacancy.
11 May 2021
Disrupting the plastics industry with sugar beetsThe TU Delft spin-off 'Nature's Principles' aims to develop biotechnological solutions that enable the biobased economy, reduce waste production and reduce carbon emissions. It costs a lot of energy and petroleum to create plastic from petroleum. The spin-off is working on a new technique to make up to 30% cheaper, recyclable polyactic acid plastic (PLA). They are experimenting not with oil, but with sugar beets. Read the interview TU Delft Campus had with Jules and Harman to find out how they plan to beat plastic. Suppose that in this way we would have to provide the whole world with just as much plastic as we use in the west. That is about 100 kilos per year. Then you only need 1 to 2% of the world’s agricultural land.
19 April 2021
Ideal week for research on night frostsTU Delft researchers Bas van de Wiel and Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis investigate night frosts in orchards. "Night frosts can be very bad news for growers, sometimes forcing the entire family out of their beds in the middle of the night in order to save the plants." More information on the project can be found here . Last week kilometers of cable have been rolled out in the orchard of Martijn Vogelaar to track the temperature exactly. The goal of the research is to find the influence of wind machines on the temperature. Next to the cables measuring the air temperature, a drone with an infrared camera flew around to measure the temperature of the leaves and the flower buds. The full article on the expirement can be found here .
16 April 2021
AgTech 2021 congress | Building togetherOn March 16th the AgTech 2021 congress | Building together took place. The goal of this (yearly) congress is to stimulate co-innovation between companies and TU Delft researchers. The congress kicked off with a plenary session with examples of successful co-innovation partnerships between researcher and companies. Thomas Abeel (TU Delft) shared information about the project ' an optimal soft-fruit chain starts at the harvest ' and Frans van Widdershoven (NXP) shared information about the project ‘ e-nose ’ . Subsequently 2 rounds of 6 different workshops were hosted in which participants could discuss potential co-innovations. Below you can find the visual representation of the workshop outcomes with a short summary on the side. By clicking on the images a larger pop up will appear. With several project and consortium leads and 140 participants the congress can be called a great success. Thanks to all who participated. Kind regards, The TU Delft AgTech Institute PlantSense Future of Work Data integration in agriculture Integrated Energy systems & horticulture 2030 Water in horticulture; an integrated approach Drone technology for Agriculture To top
20 January 2021
4TU.techtalk#3Smart agriculture: Listening to the needs of plants Agriculture and horticulture are not always efficient. Often times, small adjustments may lead to big improvements in yield and sustainability. But which adjustments are those? Under the umbrella of the 4TU Plantenna programme, researchers are developing techniques to extract information from plants about what they need. ‘If you wait until their needs shows on the outside, you're actually too late.’ In 4 TU.techtalk #3 Gerard Verbiest (4TU Plantenna/ TU Delft) and Jan Westra (Priva) discuss smart agriculture. Plants produce sounds when they experience stress. I’m not kidding. The evaporation in their leaves creates a pulling force in the plant vessels. Gerard Verbiest
29 November 2020
Thirsty Tomatoes | Plantenna Blog #2The goal of the 4TU project Plantenna is to measure in-plant and environmental parameters with high-resolution and low-cost sensors. To explain more about the project, researchers tell about their experiences in blogs. In blog #2 Marie-Claire talks about how the transpiration of the tomato plant can tell you about its well-being. Read the blogpost here !
29 November 2020
Showcase 'P-lab': urban raw materials in a small scale circular economyUrban food and material chains contain huge amounts of valuable materials, a considerable proportion of which is still lost as waste. Take phosphorus for example, an indispensable and irreplaceable nutrient. Whilst the global supplies of phosphates contained in ores are steadily diminishing, we all excrete them in our urine where they return to the environment via sewers, mixed with other substances. Researchers at TU Delft demonstrate an alternative with their mini-lab in a shipping container. Read more about it in this story by TU Delft Stories.
16 November 2020