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Digital Twins

Simulation models help to make more accurate predictions about how new vegetable variety crossings are likely to perform. Discover how simulation models can contribu

During our 1st TechnoHouse on(line) Tour edition on 15 October 2020, we took a deep dive into the world of 'Digital Twins’. This concept is thé next step in data-driven breeding and a promising technology that can improve the way we grow crops today.

Breeding inspired by Formula 1

Simulation models are extremely important for the innovations that take place in Formula 1. During a race, hundreds of sensors gather data as input for the simulation models. The lifelike simulations enable the cars to be tested in many different environmental conditions. At Rijk Zwaan, we are trying to achieve the same thing in our research and breeding. By using all kinds of sensors to measure plants and the environment, we develop simulation models that we can use to subsequently analyse a plant’s traits. This enables us to make more accurate predictions about how new vegetable variety crossings are likely to perform. Watch the aftermovie to get an impression of TechnoHouse on(line) Tour on 15 October.

Our experts

Experts Gert Kootstra (Wageningen University), Ben Scheres (Research Manager at Rijk Zwaan) and Grégoire Hummel (Phenospex) talked about the opportunities of Digital Twins for horticulture and how it can improve the way we grow crops today.

Gert Kootstra  –  Researcher Computer Vision & Robotics

“The Digital Twin is the next step we need to take to better understand genotype and environmental phenotype interactions”

Ben Scheres  –  Research Manager Rijk Zwaan

“We want to understand even better how plants grow, and it is becoming very important to simulate these processes on a computer to make predictions”

Grégoire Hummel  –  CEO Phenospex

“Digital Twins will revolutionise the way we grow crops today. The resulting tools will enable growers to make data-driven decisions, increase their profitability and make agriculture more sustainable”


Do you want to know more about this topic? Ben Scheres shares his vision on how simulation models can be used to predict a plant’s growth processes, and Gert Kootstra tells how this new technology helps to understand interactions between the plant's genotype and phenotype. Watch the following videos: 


From research to practice. This infographic captures the essence of 'Digital Twins'.