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Data: what are the opportunities for greenhouse horticulture?

The Internet of Things, Big Data, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain: these are terms that we hear or read about almost every day. What they have in common is that they all deal with the collection and application of data. Various sectors are actively engaged in data applications, for example for new products, services or business processes. But what does it mean exactly? And what are the possibilities and opportunities for greenhouse horticulture? During the upcoming Westland Event on December 7, 'data-driven horticulture' will be the central theme. Speakers include Gerhard van der Bijl of Royal FloraHolland, futurist Richard van Hooijdonk, and Jack Esselink of IBM. Merijn Doggen will lead the event.

How far has the sector progressed in this area and what opportunities are there for greenhouse horticulture if these resources are used even more actively? During the Westland Event, data experts and horticultural entrepreneurs will discuss the possibilities that emerge when data and horticulture knowledge are successfully combined.

Looking to the future and sharing experiences
Richard van Hooijdonk, trend watcher and futurist, will outline the status quo and explore future developments in the field of data. Using examples, he will illustrate why the theme is so important and topical for horticulture. Jack Esselink from IBM will give a brief explanation of relevant terms that are used within this theme, such as Data Science, AI, IOT and blockchain. Jacob van den Borne will talk about entrepreneurship and precision agriculture. The potato grower from Reusel, Brabant has been using drones, sensors, smart machines and data in the cloud for years in order to achieve the perfect potato chip. Speaker Gerhard van der Bijl is Chief Digital Officer and CIO at Royal FloraHolland. Before that he worked at Royal Auping, Reed Elsevier and Wehkamp, always in roles where he was involved in the digitization of B2B and B2C business models. With the teams at Royal FloraHolland, growers and customers, he is now working on the digitization and transformation of the world's largest marketplace for flowers and plants. He will share his extensive experience about this topic.

Silicon Valley
Jim Stolze will conclude with a reflection on the program. As the son of a greenhouse builder and grower's daughter, Stolze got into the business early on. After spending time in Silicon Valley, he managed to combine this experience with the rapid advance of new technology. He will discuss where the opportunities lie when data and horticulture knowledge are successfully combined.

Alderman Karin Zwinkels-de Jong of economic affairs will kick off the Westland Event. "We have an interesting theme and great program again this year", Zwinkels said. "The right data on time in the right place and intelligent use of it promote sustainable cultivation and sustainability, good product handling, food safety and efficient transport. In addition, digitization helps to reduce waste and improve communication with the consumer. Reasons enough to exchange knowledge, experience and opportunities in this area during the Westland Event."

As a greenhouse horticulture municipality, Westland wants to offer the Westland Event as a platform where governments, business and education can meet and talk about important developments in the greenhouse horticulture sector. This year Royal FloraHolland in Naaldwijk will host the event, which is made possible by contributions from Rabobank Westland and Rijk Zwaan.

The Westland Event starts at 12:15 pm and lasts until 6:30 pm. In connection with the tenth anniversary, it will be concluded with a festive Friday afternoon drink, including music. You can register starting Monday, October 22 at

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