The 9000 m² greenhouse and its high-tech facilities can accommodate innovative research at the European top level. The 13 research compartments are representative of the modern hydroponic cultivation of fruit vegetables and leafy vegetables. They offer sufficient space to develop, test and demonstrate new technologies in conditions that are comparable to real life.
High-tech facilities rule in Agrotopia. They allow crops to grow in optimal conditions and lead the way to a greenhouse horticulture of the future that is more sustainable and efficient. For example, Inagro's double screen cloth and ventilation jets apply more sustainable cultivation principles that use heating energy more efficiently. A climate control computer automatically meets the crop’s needs for heat, light and humidity in each compartment.
Unique in many ways
Inagro can also explore the possibilities of professional urban farming thanks to Agrotopia's unique location on the roof of the REO Veiling crate warehouse and on the edge of the city of Roeselare. The flexible and ultramodern facility includes an elevation greenhouse that is twelve metres high and allows experimentation with optimal use of space, vertical farming, multilayer cultivation, various types of growing gutters and new, more sustainable substrates. At the same time Agrotopia aims to synergise with its surroundings by investigating how the functions of agriculture, industry and the city are intertwined.
Some examples of this are innovative water recycling and the reuse of urban residual heat. Agrotopia relies on two external sources of heat: REO Veiling's combined heat and power (CHP) system and the MIROM heat network.
A meeting place that encourages co-creation
The rooftop greenhouse is located close to the producers and buyers of fresh vegetables, so it is also a unique hub for knowledge exchange and demonstrations with an expo zone, demo installations in cultivation compartments. Collaboration with other players is essential to increase the impact of innovation and optimisation in the agricultural sector in West Flanders and beyond.
That is exactly why the rooftop greenhouse has been set up as a meeting place for researchers, advisers, growers, knowledge institutions, governments and tech companies. The design integrates research, demonstration and knowledge exchange in one greenhouse structure.