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Scottish agritech business unveils first vertical indoor facility

Intelligent Growth Solutions, the Scottish-based agritech business, has unveiled its first indoor vertical farming demonstration facility. Based at the James Hutton Institute, Perthshire, it is arguably the world’s most technically advanced indoor farm.

IGS will not be producing crops for sale, but will be collaborating with growers, retailers and international organisations to deliver the hardware and software platforms to revolutionise indoor growing environments.

Approximately 150 jobs are expected to be created by 2021 in areas such as software, data, engineering, robotics and automation. Significant demand is already being realised amongst growers, retailers and national governments aiming to address food security issues and alternative methods of production in their regions.

The Scottish-led team at IGS has developed, patented and productised an IOT-enabled power and communications platform consisting of patented electrical, electronic and mechanical technologies. All this is managed by a SaaS & data platform using AI to deliver economic and operational benefits to indoor growing environments across the globe. This technical solution enables the reduction of energy usage by 50 per cent and labour costs by 80 per cent when compared with other indoor growing environments, the company claims. They say it can also produce yields of up to 200 per cent more than that of a traditional greenhouse.

David Farquhar, CEO of IGS commented: “The opportunity to unveil Scotland’s first vertical farm, and arguably the world’s most technically advanced indoor facility, is a hugely exciting one for the whole team. As a Scottish-founded and led team we have captured horticultural, engineering and software skills from within Scotland to make this business flourish.

“The global horticulture market is crying out for new approaches to enhancing food production in terms of yield, quality and consistency. It is also searching for ways to reduce power consumption and labour costs and our technology has been designed to fundamentally address this.

“Annual industry spend exceeds $10 billion with compound annual growth of 24 per cent. We are well positioned to help our customers profitably expand their businesses on the back of this growth.”

The location of IGS’ first vertical farm at the James Hutton Institute was deliberately chosen to enhance collaboration opportunities. Scientists and researchers at the Institute will be working with the team at IGS to better understand how growing under lights can impact different varieties of crop growth, as well as drive increased productivity.

Professor Colin Campbell, CEO of James Hutton Institute commented: “There have been fantastic synergies coming out of the combination of the IGS technologies and Hutton’s cutting-edge plant science and collaboration. There are genuine potential game-changing opportunities both for new and conventional horticultural and agricultural systems that can come from our collaboration.

“The fact that Scottish innovation and Scottish science have again led the world with something that has massive economic potential locally, as well as globally, with benefits for the environment due to more efficient energy, water and nutrient use is hugely exciting.”

IGS was established in 2013 as an indoor horticulture business with a vision to deliver commercial viability to the vertical farming model by improving productivity - yield, quality and consistency - whilst dramatically driving down the cost of power and labour through Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA). John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North and Deputy First Minister of Scotland unveiled the plaque to mark the official launch of Scotland’s first vertical farm.
For more information:
Intelligent Growth Solutions
c/o The James Hutton Institute
T: 0131 202 1050
[email protected]
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