There is one thing that has certainly not been stifled during the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s the innovation taking place in greenhouse technology.
By Brian D. Sparks
Controlled-environment growers, more than ever before, are looking for ways to improve efficiency in how they can use technology to the benefit of both their workforce and bottom line.
There is also a pressing need to not just collect data on the crop and the greenhouse environment, but to also analyze and use it effectively.
The recent announcement of the GreenTech Innovation Awards, which came during GreenTech 2020 Live and Online last week, is a great example of this.
As Liselotte de Vries of the TU Delft AgTech Institute, who chaired the selection jury, put it, “The three winning innovations looked beyond their own organization and clearly illustrated how their innovation is expected to disrupt the entire chain.
The presentations and statements were backed up with numbers/figures. The winners introduced a new approach or concept, while others improved existing practices.”
This years’ winners were:
- Innovation Category: ISO Group’s ISO Grade 8000, a machine that sorts young plants based on artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D imaging. With the newest techniques in AI, the grower is able to sort based on several plant characteristics, which makes the sorting process more accurate.
- Sustainability Category: Van der Ende Groep’s Nexus High Performance Reverse Osmosis, a water desalination system that uses less energy and gives a higher recovery rate than a conventional reverse osmosis system, resulting in lower consumption of raw water and less waste-water.
- Concept Category: CE-Line BV’s CELINE, which allows irrigation water to be adjusted as needed. All nutrients are measured continuously, in real-time, which when combined with an individual nutrient-dosing system, makes it possible to create the ideal irrigation water that is always stable and controllable.
Beyond these award-winning products, there have been other developments spanning the controlled-environment industry:
- Ecoation’s Kennis Grower Assistant, which combines data collection and machine learning to provide an accurate temporal understanding of not only what is happening at every cubic meter of the greenhouse, but also why it is happening.
- Priva’s Plantonomy autonomous growing technology, launched as a service on the Priva Open Platform based on Microsoft Azure Cloud Technology that includes a suite of online applications and services that make it easier to grow a profitable crop.
- HortOS, Ridder’s new ecosystem that will help horticulture businesses scale up, harness data to generate knowledge, and be part of the digital transformation.
- Blue Radix, an autonomous greenhouse management system based on algorithms and artificial intelligence.
- Ilumitex’s FarmVisionAI, Greenhouse Grower’s 2020 Technology of the Year Award winner.
Originally published at Green house grower