The power of cooperation

20 April 2020 | Int. Greenhouse Guide |

Every grower’s ultimate goal is to maximize the yield and quality of his crop, while minimizing the use of resources, to save costs. Exactly this is the mission of the teams competing in Wageningen University’s Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, only then without ever entering the greenhouse.

So what is the best way to accomplish this? According to team AuTomatoes the key is cooperation. Currently the team is well on its way in the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge. But where did it all start?

Team AuTomatoes chose to address the challenge with a holistic approach: set up a multidisciplinary team, so nothing would be overlooked. Based on this strategy the team was formed with consultants, data scientists, engineers, researchers, and students from Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects, TU Delft, KeyGene and Hoogendoorn Growth Management.

All four companies want to be at the forefront of knowledge development and constantly want to learn new things. They all believe cooperation with other companies is the way to achieve this, which is why they decided to participate in the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge together. The different perspectives can make it difficult to develop new things. However, all team members decided to see this as a challenge, rather than a problem. The various insights trigger new ideas, with which new and innovative solutions can be developed. These solutions can be used by growers to optimize crop growth, providing them peace of mind.

After the team was formed they started to plan out their growth strategy. Hoogendoorn Consultant and AuTomatoes team member René Beerkens describes the preparation phase as follows: “I look back on this initial phase as a period of knowledge development; we were learning from each other’s expertise and we were going somewhere no one has gone before. The results we are achieving now are only possible because of good cooperation.”

Are you curious about the further course of team AuTomatoes in the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge? Follow the team’s progress via LinkedIn and Instagram!

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