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Pioneering Sustainable Substrate for Accelerated Quality Cultivation

Project description

Novel technology for healthy plant cultivation

Optimal plant growth requires just the right amount of air and water. A challenge for the agro and horticulture markets is to balance an adequate supply of both. While numerous substrates are currently used, they have significant limitations, and new practices such as hydroponics are expensive. The EU funded Hollandplug project proposes an innovative substrate consisting of a 100 % compostable plug. The technology relies on a mix of patented pioneering water storage bio-flakes sprayed with a proprietary superabsorbent polymer and jute to optimise the moisture/air balance for plants/flowers/seeds to grow inside. The new substrate offers 15 % higher yield production, better nutritional quality, and energy reduction. The project with a Phase 2 investment will prepare the solution for commercialisation.


High fertility of land and proper water disposal in the soil are recognised as essential requirements to grow healthy plants. The agro & horticulture markets demand a cultivation base with an optimal air/water balance which can be controlled to ensure a regular growth of the roots across the soil or block. At the moment, there are numerous substrates such as coco coir, peat coir, stone wool and foam, used in the industry, in an effort to cover these needs. However, all these solutions present important issues, as substrates remain completely wet, are not safely recycled/reused and the water and air content is not equally spread into the entire growing medium. In addition, new practices like hydroponics which emerged for the purpose of controlling the water/air uptake by plants, are mostly expensive systems, not suited for all agriculture uses and require installations with high return on investment. HollandPlug International BV, is a SME founded with the sole purpose of developing, exploiting and commercialising HollandPlug. HollandPlug consists of a 100% compostable plug made of a mix of patented pioneering water storage bio-flakes sprayed with a proprietary Super Absorbent Polymer and jute to optimise the moisture/air balance for plants/flowers/seeds to grow inside. With this new substrate the customers can choose the water level of the plug depending on plants’ needs, which results in 15% higher yield production, better nutritional quality and energy reduction. Our technology reduces the fertilizers needed (35%), the water consumption (60%) compared to conventional soil based farming solutions, the dropout rate to 2% and increase life expectancy of the crop by 15%. The successful commercialization of our project will help us reach annual revenues of €34.28 million and profit of €8.57 million in 2025. With a Phase2 investment of €2.87 million, this would imply a ROI of 7.56We will also create a total 43 new job positions after five years of commercialization.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie ’s-Gravenhage
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00