Growers and growers' organizations are joining hands to ensure that the flow of knowledge and innovations will continue. Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture has also taken up the challenge with their initiative to allows greenhouse suppliers to contribute to the continuity of applied strategic research in the Netherlands. The initiative has been given the working title 'Club of 100'. The initiative is open to all suppliers of materials and software in horticulture.
Due to the loss of collective financing for innovation-driven research from the Commodity Board, the development of knowledge in Dutch horticulture has become threatened. This concerns practical research with a time horizon of 5 to 10 years for introduction in the field, research that is also called applied-strategic research.
More than twenty-five leading companies have already indicated that they are willing to join the Club of 100, and are taking responsibility for securing a part of the applied and strategic research at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. All current and future members, make a financial contribution of € 15,000. Half of that amount will be returned in the form of specific research and advice for each individual company itself. The other half becomes part of the joint budget of the 'Club of 100'. The companies decide together, and in collaboration with Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, on the use of these funds for applied and strategic research at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. All members of the 'Club of 100' will be prominently displayed at the main location of Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture in Bleiswijk, the leading Dutch location for applied and strategic research for horticulture, which attracts thousands of national and international visitors.
The formal announcement of this initiative took place November 20, 2014; the companies placed their signatures on the agreement and their name plates were unveiled. Officially, the initiative will take effect on January 1, 2015.
Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, along with the members of the first hour, have the ambition to further this initiative into a powerful group of innovative companies. They aim to represent the innovative strength of the greenhouse sector and work on knowledge and innovations to benefit all supplier businesses in horticulture.