New horticulture R&D lab taking shape at Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo

New horticulture R&D lab taking shape at Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo

Entrepreneurs start preparations building a 20,000 square meter R&D lab

Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is taking shape
It’s expected to build this year a new horticulture research and development lab, of 20,000 square meters at Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo. This is an initiative of three entrepreneurs: Botany, Blue Engineering and Bluehub, in collaboration with the Province of Limburg. The total investment is aimed to be € 18,5 million. Recently the preparations have been started, after the pre-exam was finalized. Final decisions are expected to be made within a few months.

Eco system
The R&D lab will be part of a new business eco system, where multinationals, medium-sized businesses, and start-ups collaborate in different compositions. Together they’re going to develop business-case driven innovations in the cross-over horticulture and high-tech. Within the eco-system there will be a focus on community building, aiming to share knowledge, stimulate open innovation and to generate business cases.

This year a greenhouse will be built, which contains printed solar cells. That’s how the greenhouse attains zero energy standards. The greenhouses will be situated at the ground floor and on the roof of the building. Additionally there will be room for technical research and experiments, instructions and meetings. The building will be located at a stone’s throw from the Innovatoren, the iconic building at the campus next to the A73 highway in Venlo.

The initiators
Three entrepreneurs, Botany, Blue Engineering and Bluehub, join forces to realise the R&D lab and eco system. Botany is a privately organised horticulture research centre based in Meterik. Owners Geert Jeucken and Peter Korsten are as well initiators of Brightbox: a city farming innovation which is already situated at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo. Entrepreneurs Jeroen Rondeel, Blue Engineering’s CEO, and Bart Verlegh, CEO of Bluehub which is specialized in business development and innovations, are similarly involved to develop the eco system. They’re both initiators of the Blue Innovation Center: a start-up and innovation community based in Venlo.

All three organizations unite their core disciplines which are necessary to realize this new R&D lab: knowledge of plants and plant breeding, versatile technical knowledge and the knowledge to market products and innovations. Together they’re going to focus on technological horticulture, e.g. by developing specific robotics in horticulture, seed technology R&D and plant components research.

The Province of Limburg is a partner in this initiative, which could move ahead Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo more quickly. This is a relevant initiative for the Province because it contributes to entrepreneurial based innovations. The track record of Botany and Blue Engineering was important for the Province to team up.

Source: Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo press release

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