South Holland invests in high-tech horticulture

High-tech glasshouses, circular hotel and office spaces and sensor technology in industries like the floriculture: 47 SME entrepreneurs in South Holland are to collaborate on 4 projects to realise this. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the Province of South Holland and the Metropole region Rotterdam, The Hague (MRDH) are jointly making over 1 million Euro in support available for this.

The 4 projects bring entrepreneurs from varying industries together. By using each other's knowledge, applications are created that help the transition to a new economy. An economy in which technologies such as big data, 3D-printing, sensor technology and robotics play a part. The 47 enterprises use these technologies in these four projects.

On Monday 15 January 2018, during a working visit to The Green Village in Delft, State Secretary Mona Keijzer (Economic Affairs and Climate), regional minister Adri Bom-Lemstra (South Holland) and MRDH-board member Maarten Struijvenberg presented the financial support.

Region's strength
The Ministry of EA&C, the Province and the 23 municipalities in the Metropole region each in their own way take significant steps to stimulate the innovative SME in the region. This joint financial support becomes available via a regional variety of the Innovation Performance Contracts, a national scheme of the Ministry, that supports joint innovation projects of ten to twenty businesses. This is the first time that this scheme has been applied to the strength and ambitions in one region. South Holland has many innovative businesses that can strengthen themselves and the region by cooperating and preparing the region for the future.

Field labs as test environment
The 4 projects can use the expertise of the so-called field labs in South Holland. Those are workplaces where businesses and knowledge institutions develop, test and demonstrate new technologies in practical situations. The knowledge and facilities of these field labs support entrepreneurs in their innovation ambitions and ensure that they are sooner able to take their products and services to the market.

The awarding of the subsidies was announced in The Green Village, a test garden and field lab for sustainable innovations on the campus of the TU Delft, where, among other things, circular test houses have been built for students. Other examples of ‘Smart Industry’ field labs in South Holland are the Duurzaamheidsfabriek and the RAMLAB, a 3D-printer that manufactures spare parts for ships. This connection between entrepreneurs and the field labs contributes to a new economic perspective.

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