Philips is developing the perfect blueprint for city farming production at their new GrowWise Center on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. GrowWise stands for a smarter, more sustainable way of growing vegetables for urban populations. It opened its doors on 6 July 2015 on the third floor of Building 7 (HTC7).
This is the largest research facility of its kind with a total growing surface of 234 square meters. Philips researchers will trial a variety of crops under different lighting and climate conditions. Visitors to the High Tech Campus will also be able to taste different crops grown under LED. Potential investors and builders of city farms can visit the facility to see demonstrations of different city farm systems and technologies.
What happens in Philips GrowWise Center?
The quality of a city farm facility depends on how well the lighting, climate control, software controls, sensors and logistics work together. GrowWise is designed with an integrated system that allows Philips to optimize its growth recipes which specify the ideal growing conditions for vegetables, fruit and herbs to achieve better results. This can range from a higher yield, enhanced taste and stronger plants to increased level of nutrients and vitamins in crops. Special recognition goes to CambridgeHOK, a certified Philips Horti LED Partner, which collaborated closely with the Philips Horti team to construct this unique indoor facility.
The facility has eight climate-controlled rooms, each equipped with four multi-layer systems, and one germination room. No daylight comes into the rooms where plants are grown in substrates such as rock wool. Philips GreenPower LEDs equipped with blue, red, white and far red LEDs are installed above each growing layer to grow crops and to find the best, so called “light recipe” for each crop.
This environment will be used to do research and learn more about the key characteristics and specifications of several city farming building blocks. Trials can be carried out underneath 540 GreenPower LED production modules and 6624 GreenPower LED research modules. Growing conditions can be carefully controlled using tailored growth recipes. They provide everything to grow high quality plants: the right light recipe, the ideal temperature, amount of water, CO2 and the best substrates.
In the morning, an international media event was held for journalists and influencers in greenhouse farming, sustainability, lighting and general interest. They toured the research facility and visited the greenhouse of Wim Peters Kwekerij.
In the afternoon, Frans van Houten, Philips CEO, Udo van Slooten, Global Director, Philips Horticulture LED Solutions, Gus van der Feltz, Global Director, Philips city farming Solutions, and Rob van Gijzel, Mayor of Eindhoven addressed the guests at the official opening of the horticultural research facility. They sketched the changing world and the role horticulture is playing.
Frans van Houten also unveiled the “GrowWise” brand which is the official new name for Philips activities in the city farming business. It will be used in conjunction with various aspects of Philips city farming program – from GrowWise growth recipes to GrowWise research and development centers, like the one at HTC7. After the opening visitors toured the new facility and sampled some of the fresh, delicious foods being grown there for themselves.