Signify Horticulture LED Solutions and Fragaria Innova are joining forces. In the coming years, both parties will be working on the creation of a new cultivation concept for the lit production of strawberries in which the latest technologies in the field of LED go hand in hand with production, taste, quality, and health. The partnership was established within Innoveins, the business ecosystem which focuses on innovation and co-creation where agrifood and high-tech meet. The two parties have just signed an extensive two-year research program.
Cultivation concept for a lit strawberry cultivation
The strategic partnership is driven by the shared ambition to enable year-round strawberry cultivation in Western Europe with the help of the latest LED solutions. The joint, multi-annual research program will result in a new, innovative cultivation concept for lit strawberry cultivation. Udo van Slooten, business leader horticulture at Signify: "We are constantly researching year-round light recipes for various crops. We prefer to do this as closely as possible to reality. Strawberry growers are looking for a flat year-round production with as few crop changes as possible and taste improvement plays a major role. LED lighting can be useful in both areas. Talking to the members of Fragaria Innova it soon became clear that our research questions were identical. That is when we decided to join forces."
With this strategic partnership, Signify also increases its visibility within the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo area. For several years Signify and Botany, among others, have been active within BrightBox, the expertise center for multilayer cultivation without daylight, which is also located in Venlo.
"Healthy all year round" as key challenge
Erik van de Vin, cluster manager at Fragaria Innova, says: "The wish to extend the harvest season for strawberries under glass is not new, but the idea of using the latest LED solutions to achieve a 'flat' production in a practical situation, between November 1 and April 1, is new. However, we see healthy all year round as more than just healthy production. After all, the consumer is not just looking for kilos, but for a tasty, Dutch product with the right ingredients and an attractive appearance. LED makes that possible for us."
Co-creation and open innovation
R&D company Fragaria Innova was founded earlier this year by eight innovative strawberry growers and plant breeders with the aim of driving innovation in the field of cultivation with LED, plant resistance and smart farming. Co-creation and 'open' innovation with strategic partners are essential preconditions for Fragaria Innova to create new products and services quickly, effectively and efficiently.
Marcel Dings (Brookberries), co-shareholder of Fragaria Innova: "Those who cannot share, certainly cannot multiply. At Fragaria Innova we therefore share our knowledge and expertise with other producers. The fact that several leading plant breeders also participate makes this interaction even more interesting. Add to that the knowledge of global leader Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, and you've got all the ingredients to work together to create groundbreaking innovations. And of course, we want to be the first one to use these innovations."