Wanted: Startups and Scale-ups with mid-tech water and climate solutions for use in covered horticulture (greenhouses)

Challenge info

Dagen Uur Minuten

Deadline: 16 March 2020
Status: Deadline verlopen
Prijzen(geld): Pilot max. €10.000,- + Network & Expertise

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Pilot max. €10.000,- + Network & Expertise

deadline verlopen

In the Netherlands, we can reach high yields with growing tomatoes. Yields of 70 kg / m2 or more are no exception. The global average on the other hand is around 3 kg / m2. This includes western countries such as Spain, Morocco and even the US. What’s the difference? In addition to scale, technology in the field of water treatment and climate control plays a major role. In the Netherlands, greenhouses are controlled by climate computers that automatically regulate matters such as heating, screens, lighting, ventilation, CO2 and water technical installations. With the right tools and installations we can realize an optimal climate and irrigation for the crop.


If you start as an international grower with covered (greenhouse) horticulture, there is certainly a need for more automation, but the high-tech solutions are often still too complex and too expensive. 


Are there ways in which we can translate high-tech from the Netherlands into affordable solutions for international markets in the field of water and climate? Can you change a high-tech system in such a way that it can be used in mid-tech? Or is there a mid-tech solution in your sector that could possibly also be used perfectly in mid-tech horticulture with a small adjustment?


Royal Brinkman offers the best ideas an opportunity to further develop the product so that it can be used in mid-tech horticulture. Do you have the solution on how we can translate a technique from high-tech horticulture to mid-tech or a groundbreaking application of an existing mid-tech solution from another sector in the field of water and climate? Then join us in solving this challenge!


About Royal Brinkman

Royal Brinkman is a supplier, installer and consultant for the professional horticultural industry. It was granted the predicate 'Royal' in 1985 when the company celebrated its 100th year anniversary. Founded in 1885, Royal Brinkman has been active in horticultural industry for 130 years. At that time, Mr. C. Brinkman started the business in s'-Gravenzande selling items such as 'Sparrietouw' which is a type of rope used for crates and tarpaulins on Westland barges bus also for bundling aspargus. Since then, Royal Brinkman has become one of the largest and most renowned suppliers for the horticultural industry in the world.



What are we looking for?

Innovative solutions, concepts and / or products that can be used for mid-tech greenhouse horticulture. We expect a concrete description of the technique or concept from the solution containing:

  • An indication on which high-tech you want to translate into mid-tech or which mid-tech solution from another sector can be used in horticulture.
  • Plug & play, modular solutions for mid-tech greenhouse horticultural entrepreneurs worldwide.
  • A detailed description of the technique, concept or product. We do not expect a working prototype, but a sketch that indicates how it works.
  • Who the target group is and why your proposed technology matches this.
  • A step-by-step plan containing what you need to further develop the product.


We are looking for enthusiasts who want to develop a water or climate mid-tech solution that will be introduced into the greenhouse horticultural industry. 



What are we not looking for?

Technology, concepts and products that are not scalable, that are not applicable in the greenhouse horticulture industry or that require structural funding from subsidies to be economically viable.


What can you win?

  • Pilot project with max. €10.000,- in the case of a succesfull match
  • Collaboration with the Royal Brinkman innovation team, consisting of creative and inspiring specialists who can challenge you to make your product even better.
  • Possibility of jointly developing and testing prototypes under practical conditions with growers (horticulture entrepreneurs).
  • Access to an international network in horticulture, consisting of an interesting network of growers, suppliers, manufacturers, knowledge institutes and other strategic partners.
  • Opportunity for a sustainable strategic partnership with access to our sales force.
  • Use of flexible workplaces within Royal Brinkman



  • A Chamber of Commerce registration is certainly not necessary. Do you think you have come up with an innovative mid-tech solution to realize an optimal climate and irrigation for the crop? Then we would like to get in touch with you!
  • Able to jointly start a pilot project within 3-9 months.In staat om binnen 3-9 maanden gezamenlijk een pilotproject te starten.


Your pitch (max 6 A4 / 18 slides)

  • Description of the concept: Give a short description of the concept as detailed as possible
  • Description of the pilot:  A short description of the prototype / pilot project and what you need from Royal Brinkman
  • Description of the team: A short description of the team for your startup / scale-up. 

Do you have remaining questions? Ask them on the discussion pagina.


  • 20th January 2020: Launch challenge
  • Monday 16th March 2020: 17:00: Deadline challenge
  • Thursday 2th of April 2020: Anouncement selected candidates and wildcards for Matchmaking Event
  • Thursday 16th of April 2020: Matchmaking Event: live-pitch/ introductory interviews



Background information

Control over your greenhouse climate

One of the major advantages of greenhouse horticulture is being able to control the greenhouse climate. As a result, you increase the influence crop growth and you reduce the risk of diseases and pests.

An important part of climate control is creating an uniform climate in the greenhouse. This means that we strive for a situation where the temperature and the humidity in different places in the greenhouse differ as little as possible. Climate uniformity is important because this ensures uniform growth of the crop. But how do you create climate uniformity in the greenhouse? 


The solution for humidity

The DryGair units ensure that the greenhouse air is dehumidified; both the RH and the absolute humidity decrease, while the humidity deficit increases. Instead of the energy contained in water vapor being discharged to the outside, it is "harvested" on the cold panels of the DryGair unit. As a result, no energy is lost, but this ensures energy saving that can be as high as 50%! In addition to extracting water from the air, the greenhouse air is further circulated, which ensures a uniform climate and an active crop. The uniform climate is partly due to the fact that no openings are needed in the screen, which means that the CO2 also stays inside longer. The water from the unit is collected and can be reused in the process water. The active climate reduces the number of fungal diseases, reducing chemical use.

The DryGair unit can be operated as a stand-alone unit, whereby the unit switches to a self-determined setpoint or via the climate computer. In this position there are more options for setting in set points and start / stop release.


The DryGair units in practice
DryGair units are used in practice by many growers, read below some experiences.

Do you have remaining questions? Ask them on the discussion pagina.

Jonathan Morgan 12-03-2020reageer
Can people from oversea's with idea's and products apply

Royal Brinkman 12-03-2020reageer
Hi Jonathan, everyone can apply as Royal Brinkman is active in many parts of the world.

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