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Alfieris Nikolaos (1994), Voutsinos Orfeas (1995), Marami Vasiliki (1994) – Farmvent
Hotels, restaurants and supermarkets with 2 meter-tall, fridge-like Farms of just a 2.5 m2 footprint. The result? Basil, mint, spearmint and other herbs, fresher than ever, and even in Northern European countries, where the lack of sunlight can make the cultivation difficult.
The idea of Farmvent started in 2018 in Greece, in 2021 the company was founded in the Netherlands, where it is currently going through its pilot phase. Even though vertical farming might not be a well-known farming method, it has been “the new trend” in safe food production, but with nearly 80% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, it is not just a trend, but a necessity for the future.
Farmvent presents an automated way to cultivate herbs and vegetables, which is carried out using a new robotic approach, that combines artificial intelligence and machine learning. The aim is to reduce food miles and food waste, as well as to deliver fresh products that have not come in contact with possible contaminants. This is achieved through specially designed “automated dispensing technology” where the customer selects and buys the plant they desire.
Nikolaos Alfieris is the founder and CEO of Farmvent. He is currently doing his Master studies in Biosystems Engineering and Management Economics at Wageningen University & Research, where the company is based. Plant research is carried out by Orfeas Voutsinos-Frantzis, a PhD candidate from the Laboratory of Vegetable Crops of the Agricultural University of Athens, who specializes in applied plant physiology and nutrition in vertical farms. The third member, Vasiliki Marami, oversees the administrative department and became a member of the team at the beginning of her master studies in International Management at the University of Utrecht.
The team has participated in several innovation competitions, where it has been distinguished and awarded, as well as in voluntary activities, both in Greece and the Netherlands. It is important to note that the support from Starthub Wageningen, the entrepreneurship incubator at Wageningen University & Research, has played a crucial role in the development of Farmvent.