Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects is proud to be the most innovative greenhouse builder in the world. With a team of 140 professionals, we work on innovating our greenhouses on a daily basis. With in-house engineers, designers and our own R&D department, we stay ahead of the game and respond to questions and trends in the field of horticulture across the world. This results in the most efficient, sustainable, productive greenhouses.
Our R&D department is made up of experts in the fields of energy, product design, water, cultivation, simulation and data science. Our vision is to enable large-scale, safe, sustainable, efficient food production everywhere in the world using high-quality greenhouses with a high degree of automation. We do this in all possible climates.
We are working on:
- New cultivation systems, for new crops in new climates, which ensure higher yields;
- More efficient heating and cooling systems, which enable large-scale efficient pro-duction of vegetables in all climates with low energy consumption and therefore low costs, such as our HACo system;
- More effective air distribution systems for a more stable, homogenous greenhouse climate with higher yields in our ModulAIR greenhouses;
- New combinations in the use of sustainable energy, such as solar energy, biomass, ground-coupled heat exchangers, CHP and heat pumps;
- Water-saving solutions by closing the water flows;
- Cultivation support with the aid of data science and artificial intelligence.
We have broad experience in developing and implementing sustainable concepts, such as the integration of residual heat, solar energy, biomass, ground-coupled heat exchangers, CHP, heat pumps and water-saving solutions. This results in progressive projects as can be seen in projects we have realised such as:
- Al Dahra Baywa
Van der Hoeven has test facilities where new cultivation systems can be tested internally. These facilities enable us to simulate the conditions in a greenhouse using LED lights and advanced ventilation systems.
Van der Hoeven is a system integrator. This means that we always work with partners to come up with the best solution for our clients, and this also applies to our R&D activities. Van der Hoeven has good relationships with all leading suppliers in the sector and with leading knowledge institutions such as TU Delft, Wageningen University and Research and TNO. We also maintain good relationships with clients. We work continuously to improve our greenhouses. In this way, we retain clients and constantly learn from our experiences. We also always collaborate with our partners in R&D. 'Alone you go faster, together you go further'.
In June 2020, team Automatoes, led by team captain Leonard Baart de la Faille, R&D Lead Engineer at Van der Hoeven, won the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge. In this competition, cherry tomatoes were grown remotely, using data science algorithms (Artificial Intelligence) by five teams and a team of top Dutch growers. Team Automatoes, made up of employees from Hoogendoorn Growth Management, Keygene and Delft University of Technology, produced the most high-quality tomatoes, with low raw material and energy consumption. The team won across all three categories: highest profit (euros), highest sustainability and best artificial intelligence strategy. 'Team Automatoes has built a robust system with very good engineering and a plant focus. The AI strategy that has been developed is scalable and can be applied very effectively across the world,' the jury said.
Participating in and winning this prestigious challenge easily aligns with our vision of enabling large-scale, safe, sustainable, efficient food production in all climates by realising high-quality greenhouses with a high degree of automation. Using data science guarantees a stable, high yield and makes it a scalable solution for very large areas, without depending on the limited availability of highly-qualified growers. We don't just build a greenhouse; we offer a production greenhouse as a service.
In the short term, it offers us the opportunity to unburden our clients by enabling much more in-tensive cultivation assistance, making them even more successful. Pilots with data-driven cultiva-tion control in a production environment are now being carried out for some of our regular clients. This raises production in these greenhouses to a higher level and enables future cultivation in our greenhouses, which will be even more autonomous.