SolarFoil B.V., a spin-off from the University of Amsterdam, has received a convertible loan of €300,000 from the North Holland Innovation Fund. SolarFoil is a pioneer in spectral conversion technology designed to optimize sunlight for improved plant growth and production. The new funding is meant to bring the technology to advanced agricultural facilities, namely greenhouses, for both microalgae cultivation and horticulture.
The climate crisis and horticulture
The climate crisis increases the pressure to move to a more sustainable horticulture as traditional methods struggle to meet the energetic efficiency needs required. Light plays a crucial role in plant growth. Current methods of achieving light, such as artificial lighting and shade, are associated with significant energy costs and inefficiencies, especially in sectors such as microalgae cultivation. SolarFoil addresses this problem by harnessing unused natural sunlight by way of spectral conversion.
Upscaling SolarFoil’s technology
This investment from the North Holland Innovation Fund will stimulate SolarFoil’s R&D efforts, especially for the development of sustainable production on a larger scale. The effectiveness of the technology will also be further validated in advanced agricultural facilities, namely greenhouses, for both microalgae cultivation and horticulture.
Spectral conversion technology tailors the solar spectrum to the needs of plants, increasing crop yields and reducing operating costs. In this way, the technology promises to have a significant impact, in line with the future trajectory of the green economy.
“I am very happy that we can help the SolarFoil team and their technology through financing. Further validation in an advanced and relevant environment is crucial for the further success of the company.” Wouter Keij, fund manager of North Holland Innovation Fund
Towards a sustainable horticulture
SolarFoil’s strength is its capability to provide tailored solutions for specific crops and conditions. This way growers can target different aspects of their growth. Either increasing the crop yield by targeting how fast plants grow, or the quality of grown crops by addressing certain properties of the plant (number of leaves, flowering, fruiting, etc.).
“I am very grateful that Innovation Fund Noord-Holland puts their trust in SolarFoil’s vision. The financing makes it possible for us to introduce our technology into the greenhouses and take the first steps to use sunlight for horticulture.” Arnon Lesage, Co-Founder of SolarFoil
SolarFoil is a spin-off from the University of Amsterdam and founded in 2022 by dr. Arnon Lesage, Jasmin Fisher Balil, dr. Yingying Tang and Prof. Peter Schall and was supported by IXA, the institute of Physics, Demonstrator Lab, and NWO. Visit website.
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