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The European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO) and the North-Holland province have awarded full funding to the Green Innovation Cluster (GIC) initiative of Greenport Aalsmeer and the University of Amsterdam. The project aims to fortify the economic strength of the agricultural industry in the Amsterdam metropolitan area in a sustainable manner through the collaboration of public and private sector.

Picture: flower auction Aalsmeer. c: UvA

The GIC consists of a framework of twelve valorisation projects in which public and private parties work together to stimulate innovation in the green sector. The emphasis of the projects is on floriculture and crop culture. The entire initiative has a budget of €4.4 million,  €1.4 of which will be financed through the Operational Programme Opportunities for West II (EFRO), €750,000 through co-financing by the North-Holland province, and a substantial contribution will come from the participating businesses.

Projects by UvA Faculty of Science researchers

Seven of the projects are carried out in collaboration with UvA scientists from several research institutes: the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) and the Van ‘t Hoff Instituut for Molecular Science (HIMS).

  1. Detection of pathogens in crops and floriculture. 
    Dr Martijn Rep (SILS)
    Partner: Naktuinbouw
  2. Determination of origin of Dutch crops. 
    Prof. Chris de Koster (SILS)
    Partners: Rosa Natura, Boomkwekerij Gebr. vd Berk B.V. en Kwekerij Helderman VOF
  3. Plant virus diagnostics with small-RNA sequencing. 
    Dr Rob Dekker (SILS)
    Partner: Naktuinbouw
  4. Ultra-long read 3rd-generation DNA sequencing. 
    Dr Timo Breit (SILS)
    Partners: Bejo Zaden B.V., Averis Seeds B.V., HZPC R&D, C. Meijer B.V., Vereniging VLPB
  5. Commercialising micro-algae. 
    Prof. Stanley Brul (SILS)
    Partner: Algae Innovations Netherlands BV
  6. Better biological control of Spint. 
    Dr Martijn Egas (IBED)
    Partner: Koppert Biological Systems
  7. Developing an efficient process for the transformation of levuline acid from bio mass into valuable raw materials.
    Dr. Raveendran Shiju (HIMS)
    Partner: GF Biochemicals

The other five projects are carried out by Wageningen UR, InHolland, TNO and participating companies. In addition to the innovation projects, there is a ‘Living Lab’ for Green Innovation (GRILL), where students work on project assignments from businesses. Every participating business is asked to bring in at least one GRILL project each year. This invitation extends to any other company that has an interesting question for applied research.

Contact for additional information: Timo Breit