Light Science Technologies (LST) has secured funding to develop an ‘all in one’ sensor for vertical farming. It will measure light, water, air, temperature, humidity, oxygen and soil to enable the monitoring and control of the growing environment; ensuring optimal plant productivity and yield.
The funding is through the Transforming Food Production (TFP) challenge, part of a £90 million government investment to support the UK’s most innovative technology to boost agricultural productivity and set food production systems towards net zero emissions by 2040.
The Controlled Environment Agricultural (CEA) market is growing fast at a CAGR of 21 per cent.
In partnership with Nottingham Trent University, the LST will be leading the project to develop a growing sensor and innovative transmission node for vertical farms. The sensor will form a vital part of its bespoke offering, reducing energy and saving costs using technology and real-time data.
LST is working with growers to provide an integrated, cost effective and low maintenance solution that can be used across different crops to achieve maximum yield, creating the full growing “recipe” of lighting, nutrient and environment.
The IoT precision data solution will help boost productivity and efficiency of vertical farming, reflecting the government’s drive to help the agricultural sector grow economically with less environmental impact.
LST is focused on becoming a technology driven trailblazer in vertical farming innovation and technology over the next four years.
Simon Deacon, CEO of Light Science Technologies added: “This is an especially important boost to our business. To be selected by Innovate UK is confirmation of the urgent need for more sustainable, productive and cost-effective solutions in farming. Investment in UK technology and innovation in this sector is crucial in achieving a better approach to agricultural production and reducing emissions.”
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org.