Trailblazing winners of GreenTech’s 2021 Innovation and Concept Award enjoy continued success

Author: Rachel Anderson
Monday, 21 March 2022

As ambitious visionaries in the global horticulture sector prepare their entries for the GreenTech Innovation and Concept Awards 2022, the two pioneering companies that won last year’s awards are going from strength to strength.

Both Corvus Drones BV, winner of the Concept category for its nifty glasshouse Corvus Drones, and Van Iperen International, winner of the Innovation category for its sustainable GreenSwitch Original organic nitrate fertilizer, are experiencing continued recognition and development since receiving their awards during GreenTech 2021 last September.

Marine Denion-Lair, marketing director for Van Iperen International, says: “Despite the overall situation of the global market, the company is doing well and registered a record year in 2021.” She reveals that the environmentally-friendly GreenSwitch Process, which sees nitrogen from manure upcycled into a nitrate fertilizer, is now commercially available to (fresh produce and ornamental) growers worldwide – offering them the opportunity to use a fertilizer that has zero carbon footprint.

Furthermore, the firm has launched a new line of biostimulants, Plants for Plants, and announced a new water-soluble SOP (potassium sulphate) production capacity that has close to zero carbon footprint. “These developments are landmarks to ‘make the green switch,” asserts Denion-Lair, who adds: “Winning the GreenTech Innovation Award brought us visibility, recognition in the Netherlands, but also abroad. It has also strengthened the credibility of our innovations towards our customers and employees.” “Be ready to spread the word”, advises Denion-Lair to this year’s entrants, adding: “the Greentech award is a very good opportunity to grow your product awareness.”

Frans-Peter Dechering, co-founder of Corvus Drones BV, describes the Greentech award as “the most prestigious tech prize in horticulture, worldwide.” He adds: “Winning the Award was an important recognition of the value for growers, given by a team of experts, the jury. For my companion and I, it was also the confirmation that we are on the right track with the right strategy. It also helped us gain traction in the market, and daily, we are getting enquiries all over the world and from many crops. The Greentech buzz is one of the drivers. The award was [given] at the right time to get investors on board. We could meet the investors during the exhibition, and they could see the drone demonstration.”

Since its win last autumn, Corvus Drones has completed the final development of the first drone version. Dechering says: “The first drone version is being used by our first customers. It was a historical moment to see in our drone login system that our clients were using the drone by themselves and flying fully autonomously. That’s the biggest compliment after several years of development.” He adds: “We started a new project of row tracking navigation in tomatoes, together with a Dutch and German partner. This is because we are focusing on autonomous flying and data collection, and we are partnering with companies to make growers applications. The result is a fully automated harvest prognoses reporting system which is ten times better and cheaper than traditional systems.”

“Growers are using our first applications like seed germination counting, leaf area development and flower ripeness for instance. They trust the drone as they did the manual counting before. And that’s good news.”

Dechering also reveals that the company’s team has now increased to 12 people – mainly technical engineers – and this year (2022), its commercial team will expand too.

For more information about the GreenTech Innovation Awards 2022, see: The deadline for the submission of the innovations is Friday 15 April, 2022.

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