UA Enterprises

hei-tro GmbH (Ltd.) AQUAPONIK Development



  1. SHORT DESCRIPTION: The Dortmunder hei-tro is a limited company founded in 1984. It started with project development and management in aquaponics, the resource-efficient combination of fish and vegetable production. The main business of hei-tro was, and also till stepping into the field of aquaponics is, in real estate project development. The office of the enterprise is located at Union Gewerbehof close to the city centre of Dortmund. The quarter is famous for its agglomerated creative scene and (start-up) SMEs, which are running their business. It is an attractive location because it has affordable offices and a creative working environment. The people who live here are of rather low income, with relatively high rates of unemployment which leads to visible social problems that are part of the social work projects organised by the city council. This setting offers perfect prerequisite to start urban gardening projects with a social aim, like an aquaponics farm.
  2. KEY ACTIVITIES: Hei-tro conducts project development in aquaponics. In 2015, hei-tro is developing two aquaponics system prototypes, one for community and one for private use in a project collaboration together with SME e.p.h. Schmidt and the NGO group “Die Urbanisten”. Aquaponics are the key production method but influence also vertical, indoor and rooftop farming. Hei-tro coordinates and sells aquaponics systems and sizes hei-tro according to individual customers and projects. These systems can be established in different environments, which makes it quite interesting for inner-urban and building-integrated (in/on buildings) settings. The key products are vegetables, herbs and fish. The main activities of hei-tro – only related to aquaponics – include production services, sales from other suppliers, technical innovation, consultancy services and project development of aquaponics in general. Currently they use their exclusive knowledge and the demonstration system at Union Gewerbehof in Dortmund to find partners and customers to start this business by conducting aquaponics project development and management. This aquaponics segment is now at the stage of starting the business by carrying out many presentations and discussions with administration bodies, industries, NGOs, researchers, policy makers, etc.
  3. RELEVANT DIMENSION: Inner city, Aquaponic, horticulture, aquaculture, innovative, community-based
  4. BUSINESS MODELS: Experimental (new production methods, innovation)
  5. COMPLETE ADDRESS: hei-tro GmbH, Huckarder Str. 10-12, 44147 Dortmund,