Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

HortiCo 4.0


HortiCo4.0 Logo (c) DLR Rheinpfalz/Mariska Schäffer
(© DLR Rheinpfalz/Mariska Schäffer)

Collaborative project: Networking, Synergies and Transfer in Horticulture 4.0 (HortiCo 4.0)

Digitalization will have a major impact on horticultural production systems and horticultural value chains and will change the sector. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has established the horticulture 4.0 funding priority in order to advance the development of digital solutions for the sector.

Background and Objective

The HortiCo 4.0 project aims to link the actors involved in research and development (R&D) projects on horticulture 4.0, in order to promote synergies, to support the transfer of results into practice and inform a broad public.

The objectives of HortiCo 4.0 are:

1) Networking of the innovation projects with each other and with similar projects not funded within the Horticulture 4.0 call guidelines as well as with actors of the value chain and politics.

2) Clustering of innovation projects according to their technical content in order to identify potential synergies, to support the implementation of these synergy effects, and to safeguard research data long-term.

3) Technical and economic analysis of the innovation clusters.

4) Critical analysis of the technical and economic potential benefits of the innovation clusters and evaluation of the effects in companies, on the sector and for the society.

5) Facilitate the adoption of innovations in horticultural value chain through transfer of important results of R&D projects to the target groups. The knowledge transfer targets in particular horticulture enterprises, technical consultation, technical school training, enterprises of the horticultural value chain as well as politics and administration.

6) Development of recommendations for innovation policies and identification of further research needs.


An organizational framework is created to support an intensive networking of R&D projects, to strengthen the exchange of information and experience between all project participants and to involve actors from industry and research outside horticulture.

A kick-off event helps to identify thematic clusters in a participatory process together with the R&D projects. Annual networking workshops of all R&D projects and topic-specific meetings of the innovation clusters promote regular change.

An advisory board accompanies the HortiCo 4.0 project and provides regular feedback and support.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB)
    (Potsdam, Deutschland)
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig
    (Braunschweig, Deutschland)
  • Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum Rheinpfalz
    (Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Deutschland)
  • Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Gartenbau (LVG) Heidelberg
    (Heidelberg, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


1.2020 - 12.2023

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 2818501A18
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

hits: 4

  1. Ludwig-Ohm S, Wegner A (2021) Die Zukunftsfähigkeit des Gartenbaus sichern : Durch vernetzte Forschung zur Digitalisierung. Obstbau(5):306-309
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 597 kb
  2. Ludwig-Ohm S (2020) BMEL-Förderschwerpunkt Gartenbau 4.0 - Experten für HortiCo 4.0 gesucht. ZVG Gartenbau Report 46(12):12
  3. Ludwig-Ohm S (2020) Gartenbauliche Forschungsprojekte zur Digitalisierung vernetzen sich. TASPO 154(40):15
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 439 kb
  4. Ludwig-Ohm S, Dirksmeyer W (2020) Vernetzung. Synergien. Transfer. HortiCo 4.0. ZVG Gartenbau Report 46(3):14