ZLTO and the province of Brabant are co-initiators of GreenTechport Brabant. The first Café GreenTechport Brabant took place on 11 July. Director Louise van der Heijden looks back at the event at ZLTO in the report below.
A sunny Kruidenaer formed the backdrop for the first GreenTechPort Brabant-Café last Monday. Christ and Jacqueline Monden gave about thirty visitors, 90% of whom are entrepreneurs, a look at their beautiful basil “kitchen”. An important part of their business in the field of herbs. With a start in the greenhouse and an end to the package area, the participants got a good impression of the growers’ work.
Then the attendees took place in the shed, where GreenTechPort Brabant’s chairman Kees van Rooij took the audience into the thoughts behind GTPB and Louise van der Heijden took over for a more detailed explanation of the ambitions and approach to the future.
They highlighted the potential and strength of Brabant horticulture to make an important contribution to the major societal challenges of food, climate, water, biodiversity and energy. It is almost natural for companies in the sector to expand their leading market position and increase their social significance. The speakers added that the companies’ complex issues are the starting point for GreenTechPort Brabant. Issues that require real cooperation to arrive at solutions that are technically feasible and profitable for entrepreneurs, while being ecologically responsible and socially acceptable. GreenTechPort Brabant takes on the role of catalyst to achieve faster and better results. They will not build consultation structures, represent interests or run projects.
The speakers illustrated the role and approach based on the example ‘geothermal energy South Holland. At the initiative of GreenTechPort Brabant, the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg, Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands, ZLTO, LLTB, horticultural municipalities in the south-east of the Netherlands and entrepreneurs have joined forces on sustainable energy for horticulture in the south of the Netherlands. The intermediate result is a joint public-private effort vis-à-vis the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate based on a common vision of geothermal energy. And ‘fresh from the press’, an agreement was reached this afternoon with the EZK to work together to make geothermal energy usable for the region. Click here for the presentation of GreenTechPort Brabant.
The context for the future was then outlined by Edwin Lambregts, Program Manager ZLTO and Marcel van Haren, Program Manager FME Agriculture, Water & Food.
Edwin outlined the challenges he sees for horticulture in the areas of space, aging & staff, health & wellness, digitization & robotisation and environmental pressure & legalization. He sees a role for GreenTechPort Brabant primarily in social innovation. In short, organize the collaboration needed to realize technological and business model innovation. Click here for the presentation of Edwin Lambregts.
Marcel took the participants in FME Agriculture, Water & Foods’ vision of the role of technology in the food system of the future. For the last 200 years, technology has improved people’s lives. Now is the time to use technology to work optimally with nature. Everyone should define the design principles for this together. Marcel wants to use GreenTechPort Brabant to continue the “journey to technology for a future-proof horticulture sector”. It is good to know that he will do so from September in his new position in the ZLTO, but that the journey will also continue together from the FME. Click here for the presentation of Marcel van Haren.
Louise van der Heijden looks back at the first café with a good feeling. The variety of participants from all corners of Brabant and all parts of the nursery resulted in interesting encounters for many participants. This, combined with the guided tour of Christ and Jacqueline, made the first GreenTechPort Brabant café a success as the author of the above report, which had already been released on ZLTO, received feedback from attendees.