03 October 2022
Startups in Brainport region more successful thanks to set of advantages of local ecosystem
The Brabant Development Agency (BOM) and VDL Participaties, part of the VDL Groep, are jointly investing in VitalFluid. This company, located on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is using groundbreaking plasma technology to cut down on the use of chemical pesticides and to offer a sustainable alternative to artificial fertilizer. The financial impulse of €2 million will be used to expand R&D efforts and build up the organization so that it can supply a growing number of machines to horticulturalists, BOM stated in a press release.
VitalFluid uses plasma technology that has been developed by scientists at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) to extract nitrogen from the air and dissolve it in water with the aid of electricity. “This Plasma Activated Water can best be compared to a pond where lightning has struck,” says Paul Leenders, founder and CEO of VitalFluid.
“On that kind of water, plants grow miraculously well. Our plasma water -we also call it lightning water– has the same effect as a thunderstorm; for the first fifteen minutes it has highly disinfecting properties, then it goes back to being water that also contains a wonderful fertilizer. This is a completely natural process with only water, air and electricity as inputs. In fact, when you use renewable energy sources in the process, it is 100% circular. This new investment enables us to conquer the agricultural sector. Starting with organic horticulture.”
“VitalFluid is the first company that has managed to develop a commercially available product that uses plasma technology,” says investment manager Robbert van der Stelt of BOM. ” This allows the company to take on a major role in making our food system more sustainable. VitalFluid could very well be the founder of a new industry in the region. The knowledge that is being developed is electro-technical, biological and chemical in nature and offers considerable potential for creating jobs and developing new technology.”
“We are thrilled about this collaboration between VitalFluid and BOM. Our colleagues at VDL Industrial Modules in Helmond are involved in the development and production of VitalFluid’s machinery. Through this investment, we are underlining our confidence in the technical and commercial qualities of this young and innovative manufacturing company from the Brainport region,” states Bart Rooijmans, director of VDL Participatie, the division of the VDL Groep that invests in young, innovative companies that are seeking a development and production partner. “This collaboration fits in seamlessly with our FoodTech cluster, through which VDL focuses on innovating and making the food chain more sustainable.”