Rolf van Koppen Fotografie
Rolf van Koppen Fotografie

Prof. Eric van Heck, professor of information management and markets at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), has written a new book entitled Technology Meets Flowers, with a Dutch translation entitled Technologie en Tulpen, which tells the story of the Dutch flower business and markets, from its conception in 1593 up to today. 

In his new book, Prof. Eric van Heck describes the ups and downs and the struggles and triumphs that have connected technology to business over the years, and how the flower markets have survived through it all. The book rounds off with lessons learned for every sector about how the circular and digital transformation of the high-speed flower business and markets enable sustainable value for customers. 

A complex, AI-driven, sweet-smelling market

Mainly, the research for this book came from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Floriculture Chain (iFlow) project. This was a collaboration project between Royal FloraHollandZentooWageningen University & Research (WUR) and RSM (2015-2020) and was supported by Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials.

Even though they developed the knowledge of bulb and flower horticulture in 1593 and established the flower markets in the 1600s, the Dutch still continue to play a central role in the global production, sales and distribution of flowers. The book reveals the complexity of the flower markets in terms of their ability to produce, transport and deliver fresh flowers on a global scale. In addition, it explores how today’s flower production and distribution are aided by information advantage – the value of having superior information that is new, fresh and reliable – that has been created by blending business with technology, from robotised greenhouses to AI-driven algorithms. 

Taking the advantage

Prof. van Heck explains in Technology Meets Flowers that technology and innovation have redefined the time-sensitive information frontier. “Information advantage is a key driver for speeding up business processes in the flower markets. It’s this information that provides companies with an opportunity to win the competition in the business world,” tells Prof. Eric van Heck.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

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