ERDF project Field Lab Vertical Farming South Holland

There is already a lot of knowledge and expertise in the field of vertical farming in the Netherlands. However, that knowledge and expertise are very fragmented. As a result, the sector lacks sufficient (international) clout. The Fieldlab Vertical Farming South Holland project ensures a bundling in one central location.

About vertical farming

In view of the rapidly increasing world population, there is a great need for innovative agricultural methods to greatly increase the production of food per square meter. An important development in this respect is the vertical cultivation of products in a closed, fully conditioned environment, where cultivation is (usually) produced in several layers on top of each other with minimal use of space and without the use of chemical crop protection agents.

International developments

The prospects for vertical farming are very good and are booming, especially outside the Netherlands, with huge investments in vertical farms in the US. and Asia. As a leading horticultural country, the Netherlands already has several parties involved in vertical farming.

However, developments outside the Netherlands are moving so fast that it threatens the leading position of the Netherlands, but also offers great opportunities. It is clear that standing still in this case means going backwards. If Dutch horticulture does not sufficiently link up with this global development, the sector will miss the boat.


In the Vertical Farming Field Lab, an important collaboration is being established between knowledge institutions from South Holland and companies involved in the production of vertically grown products, the sale of vertically grown products and suppliers of technologies for vertical farms. The project creates an innovative ecosystem in which state-of-the-art knowledge from knowledge institutions and (SME) companies is brought together and where optimal facilities are offered to companies for business-driven research and innovation in the field of vertical farming.

The Field Lab thus contributes to increasing the knowledge position of Dutch horticulture in the field of daylight-free cultivation and to maintaining the leading position of the Dutch horticultural sector worldwide. The Field Lab thus makes an essential contribution to the sustainable strengthening of the competitive position of the horticultural sector in South Holland. This cooperation is fundamentally different from what is now customary in production chains of fresh fruit and vegetables.


The Fieldlab offers its services from physical facilities at three locations in South Holland:

  • In Bleiswijk for research and demonstration (technical and cultivation-technical aspects), with a facility for strategic applied research and demonstration at WUR Greenhouse Horticulture and a facility for practical research and demonstration at Delphy Improvement Center
  • In Naaldwijk in the World Horti Centre, facilities for education related to vertical farming
  • In Ridderkerk in the Experience Center of Van Gelder, facilities for market and consumer issues for vertical farming

The activities of the Fieldlab are carried out from four work packages:

  • Marketing and Demand Articulation
  • Innovation and Demonstration
  • Education and Training
  • Business Accelerator


The ERDF project focuses on starting up and operating the Field Lab over a period of four years. After that, it must have proven its added value and be able to maintain itself with its own revenue model. The participating partners invest in time and money. This lays a foundation for future financing of the Fieldlab.

In addition to the contribution of the participating partners, the project is made possible in part by the European Fund for Regional Development of the European Union and a contribution from the Province of South Holland.


Partners of the Vertical Farming Field Lab are: Greenport Horti Campus Foundation, Wageningen Research Foundation, Wageningen Plant Research research institute, Improvement Center B.V., Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Delphy B.V., Vitro Plus B.V., Logiqs B.V., Future Crops Coöperatief U.A., Proeftuin Zwaagdijk Foundation and Signify Netherlands B.V. Supporting parties are: Van Gelder Groente en Fruit, Certhon Greenhouse Solutions, Priva, Rijk Zwaan and Greenport West-Holland.

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