Vertical farming or indoor farming is a way of cultivating plants in a completely controlled, climatized and stacked growing environment. Indoor farming delivers a higher revenue per square meter, with a lower usage of water, nutrients and pesticides. In the Netherlands there is a small group of indoor farmers with a well-developed supply industry which has a leading position in the world market.
Anouk van Rossum, business developer horticulture at HAS University of Applied Sciences, in enthusiastic about the cooperation: "In this relatively small market you better amplify each other than compete with each other. InHolland University of Applied Sciences is active in the EFRO-project Fieldlab Vertical Farming, a cooperation between all the knowledge institutes and companies in the vertical farming business in the South of Holland. The knowledge of the business and the network itself are an important asset of the course.
More knowledge and expertise
Martijn Haas, training coordinator at InHolland Academy for business is enthusiastic: "The student will experience the advantages of our cooperation with an extended team of lecturers. We now have even more expertise and experience in our team. Roël Chin-Kon-Sung, expert sustainable energy, Agriculture and horticulture and circular economy is the figurehead of the course. Next to Roël, Wendy Martin is involved in the course."
Independent point of view
From HAS University of Applied Sciences, Jasper den Besten, professor New Cultivating systems, has been involved with the course for a long time. He has been involved in the developments surrounding vertical farming in the Netherlands from the start. He also has experience in a wide variety of crops, from herbs to vegetables to tree nurseries products and floriculture. Jasper about the course: "In a short time we introduce the students to all the aspects which are involved in starting and running a vertical farm. They experience a first cutlivation, learn about technical- and business aspects and get to know the suppliers of the technique and systems. They will discover what is needed for a healthy businessmodel and will be prepared for interviews with an independent perspective with their future suppliers."
Visit BrightBox - a hypermodern glasshousefacility
Jasper is also manager of BrightBox Venlo, which students will visit at the start of the course. In this hypermodern glasshouse facility all factors which can influence the growth of a plant (light, air, temperature, nutrition, water and soil) can be individual controlled.
Jasper: "At BrightBox, research is done on a large scale on innovations in vertical farming. In this way HAS is involved in study of VirtalFluid where lettuce is grown with naturally nitrogen. For this kind of research BrightBox is the ideal research facility."
The course "Managing a vertical farm" starts at the 16th of November.