Presentation of the first hydroponic garden irrigated with reclaimed water in Malaga

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On July 21, the presentation of Vertical Ecosystem took place, the project in which we have worked for 6 months from Bioazul together with Biotonomy. It is a 100 m2 hydroponic vertical garden located on the façade of the Mariposa Hotel, in the Malaga neighborhood of Soho, which uses reclaimed water from the hotel rooms for irrigation. This prototype has been funded by the European Commission through the GROW/HARVEST call of the METABUILDING cascade funding project. The main objective of this project has been to demonstrate and validate an innovative concept to integrate nature-based solutions applying a circular economy approach.

The event took place on the terrace of the Mariposa Hotel where part of the Bioazul and Biotonmy team presented the prototype and explained how all these months of work have been. Our colleague Ángela Magno, Director of Communication and Marketing at Bioazul, was in charge of leading this event, which she began by thanking the owners of the Hotel Mariposa for their commitment to this project and their collaboration, without which the result obtained would not have been possible.

After the Vertical Ecosystem project was briefly described, whose main objective has been the demonstration and validation of an innovative solution that integrates a nature-based solution applying a Circular Economy approach through the reuse of water. The project is currently in the validation and optimization phase of the prototype, together with the development of a cost-benefit study. Likewise, special emphasis was placed on the added value implied by the development of the hydroponic garden irrigated with reclaimed water. That affects on the one hand the end user (the hotel) and the public, through environmental, economic and social benefits. And on the other, it has generated a strategic collaboration between both SMEs, to create new lines of business and market opportunities.

The companies then had the opportunity to introduce themselves through Antonia Lorenzo and Moein Nodehi, the CEOs of Bioazul and Biotonomy. Both pointed out the importance of this type of solutions to achieve more resilient and sustainable cities, and the opportunity that developing work of these characteristics in the city of Malaga has meant.

We also had the pleasure of meeting virtually with Claudia Hunziker, director of innovation ecosystems at NOBATEK and coordinator of METABUILDING, the cascade financing project. Claudia offered more information about the funding process and the objectives of this call.

The last block was destined to know in detail the technical part of the prototype. Alejandro Caballero, Director of Engineering at Bioazul, explained the operation of the gray water regeneration station that treats the water from two of the hotel rooms and thus covers the water demand of the garden. Miguel Villén from Biotonmy explained the challenge of building the vertical garden on the hotel façade and thanked the collaborating companies (Paisajismo Urbano and Viveros Guzman) that have helped make it possible. And finally, Sol Giuliani from Biotonomy spoke about the triple impact that a prototype like this has on society and a video summary of the construction of the hydroponic garden and the interest it has generated in society was shown.

To end the afternoon, a cocktail was given where all the attendees were able to approach our colleagues and ask all their doubts and concerns. They were invited to get to know each other and seek collaborations to advance in the implementation of solutions based on nature, in addition to exchanging impressions and synergies. .

At the same time that this networking part took place, guided tours were organized where small groups were able to get to know the vertical garden and the gray water regeneration station up close.

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