Name of Living Lab: Agrotopia
Website URL: https://inagro.be/living-lab-and-cocreation
Established Year: 2020
Location: Oostnieuwkerksesteenweg 130, 8800 Roeselare
In the Agrotopia Living Lab, Inagro works on innovation pathways, from ideas to co-creative validation in a practice-oriented research environment. We use co-creation processes to develop, test and further improve new greenhouse horticultural technologies and demonstrate installations. The associated technical and practical knowledge helps to implement systems in practice.
The living lab can also explore the possibilities of professional urban farming thanks to Agrotopia’s unique location on the roof of the warehouse of REO Veiling (agricultural auction market) and on the edge of the city of Roeselare (Belgium). This allows to synergize with its surroundings by investigating how the functions of agriculture, industry (e.g. residual heat) and the city are intertwined.
An example of co-creation is the Hy4Dense project in which we developed a new solution for growing spinach, lambs lettuce and rocket (rucola) on a hydroponics system. Together with the stakeholders (growers, manufacturers, researchers) through co-creation we developed several prototypes which were tested and further optimized.
Our mission is to innovate the greenhouse sector by using a living lab approach. This is done to adapt innovations as much as possible to the requirements of the farmers. Ways of increasing stakeholder feedback are surveys, one-on-one interviews, brainstorms, forming steering groups and adapting the communication to the stakeholders.
Our vision is that the sustainability of greenhouse farming is higher and the innovations are adapted faster when all stakeholders into the innovation process are strongly included.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement no 101060876. UK participants in Horizon Europe Project RURALITIES are supported by UKRI grant numbers: 10051963 The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership and 10050988 Earthwatch Europe.