Governor Of West Flanders Visits Urban Crops
On Monday the governor of the Belgian province West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé, visited the headquarters of the agtech company Urban Crops in Beveren-Leie (Waregem). Urban Crops combines the farming knowledge on cultivation of the region that is situated in the heart of the Western European vegetable industry with the technical knowledge of some of the global leading machine building companies of this region to develop innovative agricultural plant growth solutions for its international portfolio of customers.
On Monday the management of Urban Crops welcomed the governor of the Belgian Province West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé, together with a delegation of the leadership of the city of Waregem for an extensive visit of the plant research labs, the pilot installation of its plant factory technology and the offices of the Urban Crops headquarters. The different technologies and techniques Urban Crops uses for its innovative solutions were explained and demonstrated during the visit. Urban Crops has international patent applications pending for several of these techniques. The diverse challenges Urban Crops faces as a young and ambitious company were also discussed in an open conversation with the provincial leadership.
“Having our roots in this knowledge-rich region is an enormous advantage compared to many companies that want to take up a role in the closed environment vertical farming industry by mainly pursuing their goals from a sole scientific point of view.”, says Maarten Vandecruys, founder and managing director of Urban Crops. “We are proud having created some kind of micro climate for all kinds of local companies and local educational institutions that want to invest further with us in innovation and knowledge in this newest level of farming.”
“Our province has a history of many international companies active in the agriculture, machine building and food industry and of which the knowledge centre has been situated in our province for years”, says governor Decaluwé. “It gives me great pleasure to see that Urban Crops uses all these local competencies to become a global leading player as a turnkey solution provider in their fast emerging international market of the closed environment indoor farming.”
Urban Crops was also pleased at the occasion of this visit to announce the plans for the extension of its research lab infrastructure in the following months with eight new units. This extension has to be realized by the summer of 2017 and will be built in two phases at the same site of the currentUrban Crops headquarters in Beveren-Leie (Belgium). The extra research lab capacity will be used for further optimizing the plant growth recipes and to test and validate additional (special) crops. The additional lab capacity will also be used to perform tests with own developed automation software and hardware components, such as its newest series of plant growth LED lights or its own developed robotics.