Hortinergy is an online software package for designing energy-efficient greenhouses by simulating energy consumption and comparing technical solutions.
Energy is a major expense in greenhouse horticulture. There are currently several solutions on the market that can help reduce your energy bill. The dilemma is how to choose the best configuration adapted to the climate outside and inside the greenhouse and the crops grown in it. This is the first online software solution to simulate the energy consumption of an existing or planned greenhouse anywhere in the world.
Suitable for a wide range of users, from growers to consultants and greenhouse equipment manufacturers, it is user-friendly and it takes less than 15 minutes to enter your parameters. To simplify the user experience, equipment manufacturers can spotlight their branded products for selected pre-set parameters. Hortinergy is a decision-making tool for sizing equipment and optimising investments: users can compare energy efficiency and technical scenarios with a simple online interface.
Stand number: 12.132
Poor servicing and maintenance can shorten the life span of equipment. Royal Brinkman spotted an opportunity to innovate in this area and developed Service Engine, a digital servicing and maintenance tool.
The tool is easy to use, it’s available on desktop and smartphone, and it can be used for all brands and types of equipment.
More sustainable future
With this tool, growers can finally keep track of their servicing and maintenance needs. The intuitive software helps to map and manage the machinery and equipment at the nursery. Royal Brinkman believes the Service Engine tool is a step in the right direction towards a more sustainable future. Following its successful launch in the Netherlands, it aims to further develop and implement the Service Engine worldwide in the near future.
Stand number: 08.510
On Thursday 16 June Svensson and Hoogendoorn accepted the GreenTech Community Award 2016 for their mutual innovation 'Connected Screening'. The software module casted most public votes.
Hoogendoorn and Svensson introduced 'Connected Screening' during the GreenTech in Amsterdam. The software module calculates the effect of various screens on ventilation, humidity transfer, energy savings and transmission of light and outgoing long wave radiation based on the Svensson screen characteristics and position. With this accurate data growers can achieve more screening hours without risking high humidity levels below fully closed screens. This allows growers to achieve a homogeneous climate, higher crop yields and up to 20% extra energy savings. Data is presented at a glance via a custom-made visualization.
Next Generation Growing
Field research within the Next Generation Growing (NGG) shows that the highest crop yields are achieved under double layer energy screens and completely closed screens (without gaps). However, in practice this is often hard to realize due to a mismatch of screen characteristics or inefficient use of climate control. This leads to an unstable greenhouse climate. The consequence: an increase in pests and diseases that negatively affects crop quality and yields. Hoogendoorn Growth Management and Svensson respond to these needs with the new screening software Connected Screening, specifically developed for the iSii process computer.
In the weeks before the GreenTech the public had the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite innovation (out of 73 entries). 'Connected Screening' received 46% of the votes, followed by Priva's deleafing robot (36% of the votes) and HortiMax Go! of Ridder HortiMax (9% of the votes).
Source: Hoogendoorn/Svensson. Photo: GreenTech.
Flexport is a new example of how a software company can fully disrupt a traditional industry: global freight forwarding, in this instance. Thanks to the deployment of artificial intelligence, the entire process - from ordering to shipping - can be operated almost fully automatically.
Flexport tackled the lack of transparency in world-wide logistics to rapidly develop a system for global transhipment companies. The system provides businesses, ranging from multinationals to SMEs, the same insight into finding the most efficient way to get goods from point A to points B, C, X, Y, and Z.
‘We are bringing transparency to a black box industry,’ Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of Flexport, said in a recent interview by TechCrunch. He created an overview of all the routes, rates, speeds, and customs compliance data. As the system evolves, more processes will be able to run fully automatically. In the past year, the volume of goods sent through Flexport grew by a factor of 16. This year, more than 700 customers in 64 countries shipped goods through Flexport, with a total value of more than 1.5 million dollars.
Flexport received 26.9 million dollars in funding for its development from Google Ventures, Bloomberg Beta and Ashton Kutcher, among others. Strangely enough, what Flexport does is not easy to copy. Petersen mentions DHL, which bought three of the biggest freight forwarders for 15 billion dollars and then spent almost another billion to have IBM devlop an IT backbone, which ended up becoming a complete failure. ‘They had to write it off completely.’
The most serious competitor of Flexport is a company called Expeditors. Although it has 1 billion dollars in cash to spend, it simply doesn’t have the right start-up mentality. Expeditors’ software is obsolete, with an interface that has its roots in the pre-GUI era. ‘Software is the differentiator,’ according to Peterson. Thanks to the deployment of artificial intelligence the entire Flexport process, from ordering to shipping, can be operated almost fully automatically.
Source: Automatiseringsgids. Photo: Flexport.
Yuri van Geest wrote the bestseller Exponential Organisations together with Salim Ismail and Mike Malone, in which they expose the power of fast-growing organisations like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix. He will be the keynote speaker on the theme ‘the power to change’ at the Westland Event on 15 October. ‘The Netherlands will have to embrace new technology within the next five years, if we aim to remain on the driver’s seat in the global food producing industry.’
Yuri van Geest is a specialist in ‘singularity’ and a key figure behind Singularity University Nederland, which will be opening in Eindhoven this December with strong ties to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Delft and Nijmegen.
Can you explain your personal interest in horticulture?
‘Food is one of the topics I’m currently rather engrossed in. I have also entered into some partnerships in the horticulture sector; so of course, I take an avid interest in it.’ Van Geest has joined forces with the consultancy firm Hillenraad Partners to set up a five-day training course for entrepreneurs in the horticulture sector, in which they aim to show the participants the many opportunities offered by exponential organisation.
How do you retain a competitive edge in a world in which everything is open source?
Can you briefly explain what exponential organisation is?
‘Every business can become an exponential organisation, from a start-up to a family business that’s been around for a century and a half. Basically, it comes down to the way in which the building blocks of a business are organised. A different organisation, a different structure, culture, strategy and critical performance indicators. New technology, such as nanotechnology, 3D printing and robotics - and additionally communities and big data - has to become engrained, as it were, into the DNA of an organisation. As if the organisation is being turned inside out. Business enterprises are doing less and less independently and are outsourcing expertise and technology on an increasingly larger scale. One of the core questions of the book is: how do you retain control in a world where you have less personal property such as talent, personal and resources? How do you retain a competitive edge in a world in which everything is open source? A business enterprise that is capable of applying this organisational change successfully will be able to perform ten times better and faster than one that maintains a linear growth curve. Exponentially. We have divided this process into four steps, which we are implementing at a global scale at companies such as Procter & Gamble and Huawei.’
What will you be speaking about at the Westland Event?
‘You may not be aware of it completely, but the world has entered into a slipstream of technological advancement. Within five to ten years everything will be controlled by software. Biology and technology are becoming more and more closely intertwined. Food is also becoming software. This means that the food producing industry, including the horticulture sector, will become a software industry. Currently, there are numerous developments in the food producing industry that are founded on technology. Take 3D printed food, for example. You can already get several ingredients in a 3D print. In the future we will be able to print out entire hors d’oeuvres, more hygienically and perhaps even tastier than they could be made by a good restaurant. Or consider nano refrigerators with advanced water, nutrient and LED lighting systems, in which people can grow their own food from seeds. Haier, in collaboration with Syngenta (among others) is already taking serious steps in this direction. In just a few years it will be completely normal to walk into a gym, have your DNA or neuroprofile read and be given a personalised shake containing all the nutrients you need at that moment.’
An essential first step is to make leadership facilitating, instead of top-down.
What can horticulturists learn from exponential organisations?
‘Curiosity, creativity. To dare to open all the blinds, to listen to young employees in particular, to embrace new technology. An essential first step is to make leadership facilitating, instead of top-down. People are becoming increasingly older while the world population is continuously growing. Food production worldwide will have to be increased twofold, perhaps even threefold. The way things are going right now, that would be impossible. If we aim to achieve this, we will need technology based on software. The Netherlands will have to embrace new technology within the next five years, if we aim to remain on the driver’s seat in the global food production industry. Horticulturists can also learn not to assume that everything is the truth. To understand that what you are currently thinking and consider to be true is an assumption. The formula behind the coffee shop we’re sitting in right now is functioning perfectly. At present, it has a functional value. However, developments are following upon one another at an accelerated pace. How long will this coffee shop be able to function as its functioning today? If you do not constantly doubt your assumptions and convictions, are no longer curious, your concept or business will have become obsolete before you know it.’
What is your vision of the future of the Dutch horticulture sector?
‘I feel rather optimistic about it, but we will have to take action now. The pace of innovation is much higher in China and the Silicon Valley. They are also growing food, which is coming our way. Like I said: food is software. The horticulture sector - and even broader, the food producing industry - will have to inject itself with new technology to retain its relevance. A business cannot pick up all this new technology on its own, but it can if it joins forces with others as a group. Together with government agencies, for example, or market parties. We in the Netherlands excel in agriculture and food production. At Singularity University Nederland, which is to become a think-tank for Western Europe, AgriFood will be one of our priority subjects. We could achieve tremendous steps in AgriFood. After all, the Netherlands already have many start-ups and knowledge centres in that field.’
The pace of innovation is much higher in China and the Silicon Valley. They are also growing food, which is coming our way.
Why would you advise students to keep a close eye on the horticulture sector?
‘Horticulture is exciting, because of the many opportunities for growth. As I mentioned before, a myriad of new technologies such as biotechnology, nano technology, robotics, drones and 3D printing are all converging in the horticulture sector. I would advise students to invest in all the information currently available online, in addition to what they’re learning at school. Almost everything you want to know and learn is already available on the internet via open source software. You could watch TED talks, or read blogs and news items on websites such as Edge.org, SingularityHUB or MIT Technology review. I learn something new every day through all this media. This is one of the reasons I prefer to travel by train. You can’t read while driving a car, after all. My advice: you have to get going if you want to participate in today’s changing world.’
The Westland Event will be held on Thursday, 15 October 2015, from 3 to 8 pm. Watch the event in livestream on HortiValley.nl (Dutch spoken). Marco van Zijverden, CEO of the Dutch Flower Group, will be introducing Yuri van Geest at 6.45 pm. View the full programme of the Westland Event.