Sjaak Bakker, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture:

"I'm a firm believer in an open innovative structure for research"

Mardenkro maintains close contact with scientific researchers and is a member of the Club of 100: a group of prominent horticultural suppliers that helps finance and steer research at Wageningen Greenhouse Horticulture. This way Mardenkro is at the forefront of horticultural innovations.

Sjaak Bakker, unit manager of Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture is pleased with the participation of Mardenkro in the Club of 100. “I am a firm believer in an open innovative structure for research: The greenhouses benefit from the continuous innovation; Wageningen UR maintains good contact with the supply industry. We have been working with each other for decades but it is becoming even more important. The government wants the businesses community to share the responsibility for financing and for determining the direction of research. The businesses community can benefit from this greatly.”

The opportunities for collaboration are diverse, ranging from business-to-business research under full confidentiality to research with public funding of which the results are made public. Bakker sees many opportunities for pre-competitive cooperation, in which companies bring in their own expertise and then later, based on the results of the research, develop products.

“Diffuse light is such a subject where pre-competitive cooperation between research and business can yield better insights. It is of common interest to bring this to a higher level. Then we can part ways and the businesses can develop different applications and markets,” he says.

Understanding of light makes great progress
The understanding of light and its influence has made great progress over the last ten years. Running parallel to this, coatings have developed from shading materials to ways in which to influence light, says Bakker. “Controlling light in horticulture began a long time ago simply by keeping it out: creating darkness, shading or whitewashing. Then we started to increase the amount of light during low light periods with artificial lighting or AR-coatings. After that the type of light was manipulated with diffuse glass or diffuse coatings. Now we have reached the point that wavelengths play a role by regulating the infrared, PAR-light and the various light colours. We have more and more understanding of the environmental factors and the development of advanced materials, such as coatings, plays an important role in this.”

Keep measuring products
All ReduSystem products are measured by the LightLab at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. This is very important, says Bakker. “We, together with others, have been working for more than 30 years on the continuous development of protocols for taking measurements under standardized conditions, such as the TNO-034-DTM-2010-03385 Light Measurement protocol for greenhouse roof materials. This way you achieve objective results. With coatings, the method of application also partly determines the light conditions in the greenhouse and thus the results measured by the lab. Therefore the supplier is responsible for doing this in a standard way. We see more and more new products being developed. That contributes to even better control of the climate conditions.”

For more information
Mardenkro The Netherlands
Geerstraat 8
5111 PS Baarle-Nassau
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)13 507 70 69

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