Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge
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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.

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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.

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Van der Hoeven

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