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Pilot project manager:
Metabolic Institute (METAINST)

Pilot Location:
Amsterdam (Netherlands )

Aquaponic educational farm


The greenhouse is located on an old polluted brownfield (former shipyard) in the North of Amsterdam, converted in 2014 into a CleanTech playground, where solutions for the sustainable city of tomorrow are being tested.


The greenhouse aims to be a showcase and open-source educational center for sustainable urban food production in Amsterdam. It aims to test both high-tech and low-tech solutions by integrating different grow systems and developing an open-source aquaponics management software for inexperienced growers. The pilot project will target the enlargement of the existing aquaponic unit allowing for implementing a stable and marketable production of fishes, edible flowers, herbs, and vegetables for local customers.

Additionally, the pilot will develop a series of open-source blueprints on how to build an aquaponic system from reused materials and open-source hardware/software components. These blueprints will disseminate widely the open-source software and hardware systems the pilot team uses to facilitate the daily management of the farm in partnership with local urban communities and monitor the aquaponics system performance. Workshops will be regularly given in the greenhouse to present and disseminate our local knowledge, allowing citizens to design, build, and manage their own small-scale aquaponics units.

Central to its development is the farm’s ambition to function as much as possible as a closed-loop system, using only local inputs and cycling efficiently its own resources within the system. The project will, therefore, develop and automatize further the local struvite reactor that produces high-quality fertilizer for the plants. It will also develop key ingredients for a sustainable fish feed, using the digestion of local food waste by insects, such as Black Soldier Flies, that are, in turn, used as fish feed.


In collaboration with FoodE partners:
Stichting Metabolic Institute (NL), Fachhochschule Sudwestfalen – Hochschule fur technik und wirtschaft (DE), Wageningen University & Research (NL), Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (IT), Institut des Sciences et Industries du Vivant et de l’Environnement – Agro Paris Tech (FR)

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