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Sigrow wins second edition of Topsector T&U Innovation Prize

Sigrow wins second edition of Topsector T&U Innovation Prize

Zoetermeer – The winner of the second Top Sector T&U Innovation Prize was announced on Friday 23 October. The jury had selected Dutch entry Sigrow as the winner. The Swiss-based company Vivent SA received the majority of the public votes. Both winners have succeeded in developing an innovation that demonstrably contributes to the further development of unmanned growing concepts in the horticultural sector. The award ceremony took place during a special online inspiration session of RoboCrops.

Chairman of the jury, Harrij Schmeitz, of the Dutch Horticulture & Starting Materials Top Sector (Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen, T&U) was impressed by the entries. “The quality of the entries was high, not only in the breadth of technology but also of the crops: from greenhouse to open cultivation and from blueberries to tomatoes. It was not an easy challenge to go from 26 entries to one winner.”

The jury about the winner: Sigrow has developed a thermal camera that can measure the temperature of the plant leaf and of the surrounding air and they have created the software that translates this to the direction of the stomata. This knowledge/development is a missing link in the ‘unmanned growing’ concept. It offers growers the opportunity to control the climate in the greenhouse directly on ‘plant value’ instead of on ‘growers’ input’; in other words, the plant is speaking. The Sigrow team has the potential to make this development a success. In short: Sigrow’s solution offers the chance to grow into the Fitbit® of the horticultural sector. Collaboration with other parties is crucial in this.’

Sigrow received a knowledge voucher of € 25,000 to work out the solution and/or concept together with the TU Delft AgTech Institute’s professors and students and to solve the difficulties. The winner will also receive personal guidance from an innovation broker of the Top Sector T&U for a year.

Because of a record number of votes, the start-up Vivent SA took off with the prize awarded by the public. This start-up has developed a sensor that can absorb electronic signals of a plant and can detect stress caused by drought, lack of food, pests or disease at an early stage. Vivent SA won a cash prize of € 1,500 plus a 6-month HortiTech Startup Membership with access to the network, knowledge and facilities of World Horti Center and the HortiHeroes innovation platform.

Tech incubator YES!Delft awarded participant Vertigo Technologies with a wildcard for the Yes!Delft Accelerator programme. This start-up has developed a sensor technology based on microwaves that makes it possible to explore the quality and properties of fresh fruit non-invasively. ‘We are impressed by these innovative high-frequency test and measurement solutions and the progress this start-up has shown in the past year. We are convinced that we can support Vertigo Technologies with our expertise and network, but also that they are a tremendous addition to our ecosystem.’


Note for the editors:

About IMPACT2025

Through the IMPACT2025 programme, Horticulture and Starting Materials Top Sector organises a series of activities to develop ideas and involve new parties to translate (existing) research into concrete applications in practice.

More information

See www.IMPACT2025.nl for more information about the Top sector T&U Innovation Prize or contact Michiel Roelse, operational director of TKI T&U, via m.roelse@tkitu.nl or +31 6 51407623. Would you like to learn more about the organisations in question? Check:

www.sigrow.com/ (winner of the public choice award)
www.phytlsigns.com/ (winner of the jury prize)
www.tudelft.nl/agtech-institute
www.hortiheroes.com
https://www.yesdelft.com
https://robocrops.tech/

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