Scottish trial site to test commercial viability and increase understanding of vertical farming

Dundee-based vertical farming business Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) will complete construction of its first indoor growth facility, at the James Hutton Institute (JHI), "in the next few months".

Image: IGS
Image: IGS

A collaboration with Omron, a global provider of automation and control systems, the purpose-built facility will enable a full-scale trial of a vertical growing environment.

As well as assessing the format's commercial viability through lower power and labour costs, it aims to yield a better understanding of the plant science involved and types of crops which can be grown best in an indoor farming environment.

IGS chief executive Henry Aykroyd said: "By adopting the principles of Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA), a system in which all aspects of the growing environment can be controlled, it is possible to eliminate variations in the growing environment, enabling the grower to produce consistent, high quality crops with minimal wastage, in any location, all year round."

Automation will initially control and monitor the stacking system, the LED lighting and hydroponics systems, and will ultimately control every feature in the facility.

JHI chief executive Professor Colin Campbell added: "This initiative combines our world-leading knowledge of plant science and IGS' entrepreneurship to develop efficient ways of growing plants on a small footprint with low energy and water input."

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