The Garden as Lab

Recording: The Garden as Lab

The green history of Delft and its Botanical Garden

The hundred year old Botanical Garden of Delft University of Technology has its roots in Dutch East Indian history. In the beginning of the 20th century many unknown tropical products, like fibres, wax, latex, gums, resins and dyes, finds its way to the Netherlands and were new in industry. It was a logical choice to land in the Delft Polytechnic School for applied studies. The garden start as a culture garden to grow technical crops. As a result of research at the Garden new industries starts to evolve, in example the Gutta Perscha Factory to use latex for the early Dutch rubber industry and present Apollo-Vredenstein Rubber Factory; or the Delft Oil Factory, now Calvé part of multinational Unilever. In addition, novel Dutch research institutes originated at this Botanical Garden, like The Dutch and the Indonesian Rubber Institute and TNO (the independent Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research). Recently new plant innovations still finds its way into science and industry. An interesting overview of an unique Dutch Green Laboratory.

Drs. Ing. Bob Ursem is scientific director of the Delft University Botanical Garden with a background in Tropical Ecology, Plant Biology, Inorganic Chemistry and Physics. Awarded in several prizes; the World Economic Forum Global Innovation Award for LED in agriculture, Laureate of the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences for the invention of intra-crystalline hygroscopic movements and many more… 

This lecture has been organised as part of the 100 year anniversary of the TU Delft Botanical Garden and the exhibition BioInspired at the TU Delft Library.

Visit the location's website here.