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The future of horticulture: digitizing green knowledge

Published on
May 26, 2021

Sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence and digital twins take greenhouse horticulture to a higher level. They allow for remote, automated monitoring and better understanding of greenhouse processes and facilitate the development of tools that can support stakeholders as growers in their decision making towards higher performances. The Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs Business Unit of Wageningen University & Research investigates and develops such applications for future-oriented horticulture.

The professional knowledge of Dutch growers in particular is unprecedented. Better than anyone they understand the needs for optimal production and lower use of resources such as energy and water. But a grower can only be in one place at a time. This can be solved by digitalizing the green knowledge of the grower. This can lead to - for instance - autonomous cultivation: a cultivation that is monitored and regulated automatically. Not to replace the grower, but to support the grower in various forms.

Digitalizing green knowledge

WUR explores the potential of artificial intelligence in sensing, robotics and decision support systems and digital twins for the development of efficient, sustainable and intelligent applications for, and in collaboration with stakeholders and end-users. Greenhouse facilities of the Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs Business Unit of Wageningen University & Research in Bleiswijk as well as the advanced phenotyping facilities of NPEC in Wageningen allow thorough research and testing of novel technologies.

Many applications have already found their way to the market, in products and services in Dutch and International horticulture. With the future needs and targets in mind, WUR defines the requirements for the transition towards digital horticulture, from a technical perspective as well as in terms of policies on data and model ownership. In addition, WUR stimulates digital developments in the sector by connecting experts of horticulture, data sciences and artificial intelligence, such as through the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, of which the third edition recently started.  

The Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs Business Unit is therefore actively shaping the future of digital horticulture. Contact us for more information regarding our projects and activities on digital horticulture!‚Äč