The Netherlands is the global market leader in greenhouse horticulture. The high tech greenhouse has become an important export product. How can you adapt this technology so that it also works under different circumstances? For this purpose TNO has developed the simulation program SIOM (System Integration and Optimization Model). This gives the Dutch greenhouse technology suppliers a big lead on the world market.


You can see a horticultural greenhouse as a tailor-made suit specially made for specific circumstances. SIOM is a simulation program used by greenhouse construction companies. They can simulate a complete cultivation year at any desired location on the world. And then also determine the optimal technology for the greenhouse together with the horticulturalist or investor. thanks to SIOM it can be guaranteed that the greenhouse will be delivered as a perfectly fitting tailor-made suit!

What makes SIOM unique?

The SIOM tool has an extensive database with specific components and systems for greenhouse horticulture, such as greenhouse construction, heating, ventilation, cooling and irrigation. Within SIOM you can compare different design variants of the greenhouse with each other. Based on the location, SIOM provides information on local sources such as sunshine hours, precipitation, groundwater and energy. Janssen: "A greenhouse is a combination of many technologies that you can combine to your heart's content. In every place in the world you have to choose a different combination. SIOM provides insight into this and provides valuable information about payback times and operating results and efficiency. These aspects are highly relevant to investors in order to achieve the highest possible return at the lowest possible cost."


The fresh food supply is a global issue with major challenges, now and certainly in the future. Clear trends are urbanization and local-for-local, in which people produce and consume more and more food products at the source (in this case the city).

“Being able to build suitable greenhouses at every conceivable location will certainly contribute to this. With the help of SIOM it can also be calculated whether it is more efficient and / or more sustainable to grow locally or to opt for food transport ”, Janssen adds. 

NExt Steps

In the coming years SIOM will be further developed and refined in cooperation with Stichting Hortivation. Janssen: "The licensees themselves will take care of filling in and refining the data. Now, for example, there is only standard glass in the database, but soon there will be every conceivable type of glass in the database that can be compared with each other. In the future, users will also be able to use the performance of the built greenhouses to refine the SIOM models, so that future greenhouses will benefit from experiences in a certain area. Because the licensees constantly supplement SIOM with data, the suppliers work together to optimize their sector."