Challenges and background
Climate change, urbanization and the pollution of conventional water resources will in the coming decades lead to rising regional competition over the use of the increasingly scarce water resources. At the same time, there is a growing demand for regional vegetables that are produced in a resource-efficient way. For irrigation in agriculture, environmentally friendly water recycling can serve to increase the water supply. So far, there has been no large-scale implementation of the piloted HypoWave concept. This task is now being addressed in the follow-up project HypoWave+, which is coordinated by the TU Braunschweig.
The aim of the transdisciplinary research network is to establish a new form of regional vegetable production. Based on the results of the HypoWave research project, farmers in the Gifhorn region decided to establish a company that produces hydroponically grown vegetables. HypoWave+ accompanies this project scientifically and investigates open questions in the areas of water treatment, vegetable production, intelligent process control, quality management and institutional arrangements. The aim is to further develop the marketability of hydroponically produced vegetables by means of environmentally friendly water recycling with the aim of applying it at other locations as well.
Within the framework of HypoWave+, Fraunhofer IGB is working on the digitalization of the established processes. To this end, the team is coordinating the work on integrated data acquisition and control of the water treatment and the greenhouse production, as well as on setting up and operating the infrastructure required for data acquisition and processing. In addition, the IGB coordinates the detection of (plant)-pathogenic microorganisms and viruses in the treated water and, together with other partners and actors on site, contributes its technical expertise on questions of acceptance and quality of the new process chain as well as on risk management.