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25 October 2021

GreenTech 2021 Live&Online

Last 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.

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