The Water Test Network has a new test site in operation in Belgium: VEG-i-TEC. On 10 September 2021 the VEG-i-TEC building from Ghent University was inaugurated by Flemish minister Hilde Crevits. With this official launch, water research related to among others the potato, vegetables and fruit industry can be facilitated.
The innovation trajectory from research to implementation is a long journey and real scale testing is primordial for validation. Water research at pilot scale is essential but not allowed in the production hall of food industry due to food safety issues. VEG-i-TEC will overcome this by enabling research in the broad sense.
VEG-i-TEC has a food hall, water hall, several laboratories and storage facilities. Research in the food hall will focus on the optimization of several food processing steps i.e. washing, cutting, blanching, packing. The water hall enables pilot scale testing of innovative water and wastewater treatments, sensors, chemicals etc. The basement of the building contains 10 basins of 10 m³. Process water or wastewater from the food hall can be stored in theses basins upon further treatment in the water hall. Basins can also be filled with process water or wastewater from other industries (e.g. textile). Additionally, rainwater, groundwater, surface water, tap water and demin water are available in the water hall. The water hall has 4 fully equipped test zones where flows of 250 l/h to 1 m³/h can be treated.
VEG-i-TEC is one of the 14 test sites within the Water Test Network. Interested to join us and to test your innovation? Contact Charlotte Boeckaert (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information. VEG-i-TEC was realised with the financial support of ERDF Flanders, Interreg Fr-Wa-Vl, Interreg Northwest Europe, the province of West-Flanders and the province of East-Flanders.
Watch the VEG-i-TEC movie from Ghent University: VEG-i-TEC offers solutions for challenges in the food industry - YouTube