Jan Westra, Priva, will speak at Vertical Farming Conference

Jan Westra, Priva, will speak at Vertical Farming Conference, which takes place on June 28, 2017, at Villa Flora, Venlo, The Netherlands.

About Jan Westra
Dr. Ir. Jan Westra works at Priva Head Quarters in The Netherlands as Strategic business developer, mainly for complex research and development projects at the cutting edge of horticulture and building technology. His focus areas are America and Europe.

Graduated at the TU Delft in 1985, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Refrigeration and Indoor Air control.

Subsequently did PhD research at the same department, culminating in a thesis in 1990 on the topic: Advanced Absorption Heat Transformer. A thermal device to transform to low grade heat without adding energy flows other than auxiliary power to high grade heat.

After TU Delft Jan Westra worked for more than five years at HE Consultants in Rotterdam, “technical installations in the build environment.” Most of his work involved recommendations for solving the problems with poorly performing HVAC installationa as well as designing systems for special applications (like museums) or in specific climate zones, such as the construction of the Dutch Embassy in Suriname at that time.

In 1996 Westra joined the Priva company. Partly for the development of equipment for water treatment for greenhouses, partly for directing research projects with universities and colleges. Examples: University of Ghent, KU Leuven, Wageningen UR, University of Twente and technical Universities.

Priva operates in two markets: horticulture and building management systems. In both fields he contributes in business development and researching new techniques in these fields.

Jan Westra is a specialist in the field of urban agriculture or urban farming, where the horticulture and building worlds come together. On behalf of Priva he is involved in many initiatives in this field worldwide. His other expertise is energy efficient buildings.

About Priva
Priva, a family owned company with its HQ in The Netherlands, provides, with its 450 employees worldwide, sustainable solutions for the control of energy and water within indoor environments (horticulture and buildings). Together with local partner organizations, we offer our customers across the world access to in-house designed high-quality hardware, software and services.

Sustainability is at the heart of Priva’s business ethos. Our horticultural process management and our building control solutions make efficient use of scarce natural resources like water and energy. We work within the spheres of horticulture, utility buildings and industry.

Priva is continually investing in new products and concepts with a 100-people workforce in the R&D department. We believe in stimulating innovation through shared knowledge, hence collaboration with universities, research institutes and business partners.

Priva is an international company with offices around the world. We have cultivated a local presence in seven countries across the globe. Priva now has offices in Western Europe (Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Scandinavia), Mexico, China and Ontario Canada. These offices, in combination with a global partner and dealer network, allow Priva to remain competitive and offer a local, tailored service to our customers all over the world. We always operate with respect for local cultures and seek to cooperate with local people.

Our business revolves around people. We are continually making new connections and building new relationships, to infuse the business with knowledge and vitality. It is our aim to create a climate of mutual respect and involvement, where growth and development go together.

About  Vertical Farming Conference 
The Vertical Farming Conference is part of the first global Innovative Food-Agri Event – a two-day event (Jun 28-29, 2017) that includes 4 dedicated conferences and an exhibition:

Scope: The continually-growing world populations, the global trend to urbanisation, climate change and pressure on natural resources are key drivers for policies on global food security. Vertical farming is an innovative methodology for vertical cultivation of agricultural products, which can also realize true zero-mile city food supply. Vertical farms can be built in new or existing buildings and provide significant benefits in environmental sustainability and human health, minimizing the need for water and nutrients, and eliminating pesticides and fungicides, which are no longer needed.Vertical farming and urban agriculture, if designed and implemented appropriately, could offer sustainable and innovative solutions for improving food security.

What new business models will be successful, and will new players disrupt the traditional farming landscape? How can we feed more people on limited agricultural land, with limited resources? How can we best use space, light and logistics for an increasingly urban population? What can zero waste and low energy technologies contribute to food production in an urban environment? How to identify and develop innovative methods for sustainable food production? The conference will answer this kind of questions

Focus topics:

  • Available technologies (LED lighting, sensors, tiered growing systems, Big Data, Machine Learning/ Artificial Intelligence, etc)
  • How to deal with change (from traditional farmer to vertical farmer)
  • Cooperation / Sharing Information
  • Recipes
  • Public Skepticism / Consumer Response

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