This project is a collaboration between Smart Farmers BV, developer of installations for vertical farming and aquaponics (growing plants and aquatic animals on water), Aquafin NV, which is responsible for the purification of household wastewater, and Rackunits, an IT specialist with a focus on the development of new data-driven applications.
Together, we went looking for possible synergies between technological urban agriculture and urban waste flows. Various social and technological evolutions are bringing food production closer to the consumer again. At the same time, there is an urgent need for a sustainable solution to the ever-growing water stress, for example in the garden and agricultural sector.
This project consisted of two work packages. On the one hand, we investigated the possibility of linking aquaponics and vertical farming to the process flows of a b. This was done on the basis of a feasibility study into the reuse of purified wastewater in a vertical farm with fish farming.
On the other hand, the focus was on research into 'big data' for aquaponics and vertical farming. After all, integrated and controlled fish farming and plant cultivation require technology: measurement and control in such installations are complex and of great operational importance. The data collected can provide more control, profitability and a more sustainable management of raw materials in the sector.
Smart Farmers BVBA
Partners Aquafin, UGent, aPart vzw, Cera CVBA, Stad Gent
The data collected via the digital dashboard can be used in a follow-up project and provide predictive models for crop yields, pricing, etc. In time, we also hope to export our model to other cities, both at home and abroad. We also want to develop a procedure to realise a social earning model for urban farming based on local premises.