The Scottish Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons visited the James Hutton Institute in Dundee - home of Scotland’s first ‘vertical farm’, developed by agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions - to meet agricultural innovation experts seeking to push forward new land management technologies in Scottish farming and crofting.
The Committee met researchers focusing on environmental, crop and food science that could be a catalyst for Scotland’s agriculture sector to improve productivity on farms and make them more sustainable. Discussions also included a private roundtable with academics, scientists and representatives from SEFARI.
Chair of the Committee Pete Wishart MP said: “Innovative farming techniques could help Scotland harness its agricultural potential and become a global hub for technologies and techniques that support environmentally sound farming.
“My Committee has had the pleasure of visiting the first ‘vertical farm’ in Scotland to investigate the importance of incorporating strategies to encourage and enable investment in new technologies like this into Scotland’s post-Brexit agricultural policy.”
Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, commented: “We are delighted to welcome members of the Scottish Affairs Committee to our Dundee site today. The visit was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the future of agriculture and innovation post-Brexit, with great ideas brought forward.”
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between the James Hutton Institute and IGS was recently distinguished with the highest grade of “Outstanding” by the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Grading Panel in recognition of its excellence.
Originally conceived to develop innovative crop systems that will produce high-quality products year-round with a limited environmental footprint, the collaboration has now snowballed into a multi-million-pound capital investment programme that will transform the science undertaken across the entire Institute.
The Tay Cities Deal, which is expected to bring a £700m investment into Tayside and Angus, includes funding for the James Hutton Institute’s Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC). The initiative is set to create a new research facility which will be at the forefront of emerging technology and is designed to deliver increased benefits to the global food and drink sector.
Investment in APGC will see Scotland lead the way and become a hub for the global development of indoor and vertical farming. It is envisaged that Tayside could become central to an industry that will produce consistent, high-quality produce all year-round across the globe.