Rik Jansen, Reinier van den Berg, Wessel van Koppen, Hugo Wassenberg en Dennis van Leeuwen.

Diverse opleidingen | Inholland Delft

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The WaterConciousScan helps greenhouse farmers to improve their water use. Students Rik Jansen (Landscape and Environment Management), Reinier van den Berg, Wessel van Koppen, Hugo Wassenberg and Dennis van Leeuwen (Horticulture & Agribusiness) invented the scan in collaboration with governments, consultancy firms and ‘Glastuinbouw Nederland’ (Greenhouse Horticulture the Netherlands). “The scan contributes to more sustainable water use in greenhouse horticulture.”

What is the WaterConciousScan?
“The scan is an automated Excel tool with questions about water use. The scan gives an insight in how greenhouse farmers use water. The goal is better water sustainability. The data I collect with the scan doesn’t end up on the desk of a law enforcement officer. Instead, it gives the actual user a clear insight into his own water usage.”

You started as a project team. How did you get started, Rik?
“We built the scan ourselves. The first step was to make three samples to see if the tool worked properly. The second step was to find out how the greenhouse farmers use and like the scan, by literally asking them about their experiences with the scan. Many questions in the scan were actually designed by greenhouse farmers themselves and municipalities, water authorities and consultancy firms.”

Was something similar already available?
“There was a scan available from ‘Glastuinbouw Nederland’ (Greenhouse Horticulture the Netherlands), but this scan included a lot of questions related to legislation. As an entrepreneur it then feels like you’re constantly being checked. That’s not very inviting. I approach them as a student; this feels ‘less scary’ for an entrepreneur. Later this year, MBO students will go around the country with the scan. MBO Water Management will receive our scan with the Inholland logo and a manual. They will visit at least 100 greenhouse horticulture companies per year with the WaterConciousScan.”

You’re now continuing without a project group. You will improve the scan as a graduation project. How do you do this?
“I’m currently visiting glasshouse horticulture entrepreneurs to discuss the scan. After a few visits I would like to see where I could improve the scan.”

What personal development did you go through?
“In my fourth year, school tests showed that I’m not a natural project leader or a chairman. But when I actually became a project manager, it turned out I was doing just fine. I really felt – and still feel – responsible for this project. I’ve turned this into a graduation assignment and I feel good about it.”

Do you have more examples?
“I started making to-do lists and became much more structured as a result, more entrepreneurial. It’s easier for me to approach people now and to take more responsibility. I would like to develop this further. I’m happy that I can finally take responsibility for my own work. Working with students was great, but now I’m actually collaborating with big companies and people in the industry. I’m pretty proud of that!”

What advice do you have for fellow students?
“Don’t think too much, just do it. Follow your guts. I was overthinking things way too much. I started doubting about my education and future. Just go for it and make sure you gain some solid knowledge. This gives you many different options in the future.”