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Horti Fair Innovation Awards 2011 go to Mardenkro and Corn. Bak

With its new product ReduFuse, Mardenkro B.V. is the winner of the Fair Innovation Award 2011 in the category dedicated to Technology. The winner of this highly prestigious award for the most promising new product at the Horti Fair in the ‘Green’ category was Corn. Bak BV with its Florinilla® ‘Bella’[p]. These announcements were made by Geert van Oosterhout, the chairman of the jury, on behalf of the international jury of experts, on the first day of the trade fair being held in the Amsterdam RAI. On behalf of the organisation, fair director Frans-Peter Dechering  presented both winners with a trophy and a cheque for € 2,500 in square metres for the next Horti Fair. ‘These two winners and the other 11 nominated new products provide a good picture of the broad, innovative character of international horticulture under glass, just like the Horti Fair is a reflection of this dynamic sector.’

Jury’s report: new products with a wide range of application

‘Mardenkro B.V has succeeded twice in developing a new product with a wide range of application’, said Mr Van Oosterhout, the chairman of the jury. ‘This product, ReduFuse, responds to the findings of recent research that has shown that the use of diffuse glass generates a dramatic increase in production for various crops. Applying ReduFuse to the roof of an existing greenhouse means a limited loss of light that is more than compensated for by the agent that diffuses the light. It can be used for a wide range of crops, retains its light-diffusing property for a longer time, and can be removed by simple means in the autumn. It thus requires only a small investment that is quickly recouped.’

The jury had this to say about the winner of the Green category: ‘With this Florinilla® ‘Bella’[p], Corn. Bak B.V. has succeeded in developing a very compact and sturdy form of the beautiful Medinilla. The plant produces a profuse number of fine, bright pink inflorescences and can be supplied year round. This makes a wonderful addition to the line of flowering houseplants.’

The Innovation Award is the most important element in Horti Fair’s innovation programme and will be awarded annually to the most promising new product introduced at the Horti Fair.

International jury of experts

The jury evaluated almost 100 new products this year (20% more than last year) and selected the winners from among 13 that were nominated. The new products usually involved technological solutions and simple principles with a wide range of application and that focused on the Cultivation New Style, energy, quality and cost saving, and less focused on marketing and sales concepts.

In addition to the chairman of the jury, Geert van Oosterhout (Director, LTO Groeiservice) the international jury of experts consisted of Jeroen van Buren (Market Group Manager, Potplanten at DLV Plant BV), Heinrich Dressler (Gb Das Magazin für Zierpflanzenbau, Germany), Cor van de Kaay (vegetable grower), Linda Kaluzny-Pinon (Culture Legumière, France), Frank Kempkes (technology researcher at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture), Leo Marcelis (Professor in Crop Production in Low-energy Greenhouses at Wageningen UR), Eric Moor (pot plant grower) and Steven Vale (Commercial Greenhouse Grower Magazine, Great Britain).

The other 9 nominated new products in the Technology category:

Boal Systemen B.V. (stand 11.0504) – Lumenex® ISO22

This double-glazed Venlo system conserves energy due to its higher light transmission, slower dirt accumulation and discolouration, good insulation value and excellent water tightness combined with high air tightness. It gives a new impulse to energy-neutral growing environments and sustainable horticulture under glass.

Jury: This double-glazing system combines extremely high light transmission with substantial savings on energy. In combination with elements of Cultivation New Style, this can be an exciting step forward.

Gavita Nederland B.V. (stand 11.0106) – Gavita GAN 300 LEP

This first plasma luminaire based on LUXIM solid state plasma technology with a CRI of 94, is suitable for daylight simulations and supplementary lighting due to its completely sealed housing, lack of moving parts, and long life span.

Jury: a solution for assimilation lighting at very high light intensities such as in climate rooms.

Horticoop (stand 11.0506) – Easy Ice Clean

The Easy Ice Clean reduces labour costs. It moves alogn the existing tubular rail installation, cleans reflector caps and  light sources rapidly, inexpensively and effectively because they do not have to be removed and can be used again immediately after cleaning.

Jury: a practical innovation for maintenance work that is required at an increasing number of companies.

HortiMaX B.V. (stand 11.0108) – HortiMax IrrigatieChecker

This IrrigatieChecker accurately and efficiently measures the amount of irrigation applied by a reference dripper so that the grower can monitor the distribution of water in the greenhouse during each irrigation cycle and over the entire irrigation period.

Jury: an innovation that will aid many greenhouse horticulture companies that use substrate cultivation with drippers. Will have to prove its reliability in practice, if it is to turn out to be a true innovation.

Klimrek (stand 09.0407) – Anticondensation treatment unit for glass

Anti-condensation treatment of the greenhouse roof with this truss carrier fitted with spray heads produces between 6 and 9% light gain and energy savings of 11%.

Jury: An enormous potential for savings by means of a relatively simple invention. Just like other inventions from Klimrek, this is based entirely on the use of U-shaped sections for (automated) operations at right angles to the roof bays at the top of the greenhouse.

KUBO Tuinbouwprojecten B.V. (stand 11.0202) – The Ultra Clima® double air hose

This double air hose evenly distributes temperature both horizontally and vertically and thus provides better airflow with less energy consumption.

Jury: an innovation that makes use of a proven, simple, but effective counterflow system and has the potential to achieve a breakthrough in Cultivation New Style.

Maurice Kassenbouw B.V. (stand 11.0412) – Air & Energy KasTM

A greenhouse with a ventilation system for controlling moisture balance by means of separate systems for the supply of fresh dry air and recirculation. Since the system is equipped with heat recovery air exchangers, no heat supply is required so that when ventilation is used, no loss of energy occurs. The results are a lower investment and operating costs.

Jury: the dehumidification of greenhouse air demands the most efficient possible application of energy. The way in which this innovation uses relatively dry outside air contributes to the lowest possible consumption of energy for this process.

Penn-Textile Solutions (stand 08.0429) – OMBRA-DLS

OMBRA Dynamic Light Management Solutions manages dynamic shadow in a range of 8% to 65% light ingress in the greenhouse. The thermal resistance of the cloth enables energy saving and shadow management with a single screen instead of several.

Jury: a stretch screen that regulates light transmission by rolling-up. Innovative, but the long-term effect still has to be demonstrated.

Van der Ende Groep (stand 11.0308) – Precision-Spray

Mounted on a sorter, this system applies crop protection substances to flower buds very precisely and efficiently, by spraying a mixture of crop protector and air from three directions. Only a minimum quantity of the substance is needed, because the dose for each nozzle and batch is easily adjusted.

Jury: enables pinpointed post-harvest treatment of flowers to prevent Botrytis during the sales phase. Could possibly be extended to include the addition of fragrance.

In the category for ‘Green, new plants, cultivars’, the other 3 nominees were:

Hilverda Kooij B.V. (stand 10.0404) – Alstroemeria Indian Summer ‘Tesronto’

The distinguishing features of this perennial border alstroemeria are the colour combination of orange/yellow flowers with dark green/black leaves, the plant habit, and prolonged flowering period from early spring to late autumn.

Jury: an unusual perennial, new for many gardens.

Corn. Bak B.V. (stand 10.0303) – Vriesea ‘Vision’[p]

An easily grown plant that is suitable for the 12 cm pot and has a striking appearance due to its bright yellow inflorescence that contrasts beautifully with the red stem.

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