To highlight the benefits of dynamic lighting for Québec horticultural businesses, Investissement Québec, as an agent of the Québec government, has granted Sollum Technologies $350,000 in funding for a technological showcase involving a novel strawberry research trial in partnership with SAVOURA.
Strawberry production in greenhouses under lighting is relatively new. The goal of the project is to use Sollum Technologies' unique dynamic LED grow light solution to refine lighting strategies to increase the productivity and quality of greenhouse strawberries. The Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et de l'Énergie (MEIE) program is a perfect vehicle for this commercial-scale demonstration.
Investissement Québec administers MEIE’s Innovation program to encourage collaboration between companies and research bodies to develop technological and economic initiatives. Sollum has previously been supported by the program to conduct critical research for a wide variety of fruits and herbs in order to expedite the commercial launch of its unprecedented lighting solution. Now, Sollum is building on its relationship with greenhouse producer SAVOURA Group to optimize indoor strawberry production using dynamic lighting.
"We at SAVOURA are thrilled to take part in this technology showcase," says Richard Dorval, Agr., President and Chief Operating Officer at SAVOURA Group. "This research project is exciting for us. It will allow us to test Sollum's LED fixtures' dynamic adaptation to different growth stages. We believe that this will be one of the key benefits to increasing SAVOURA strawberry production in Québec."
"In showcasing this research we'll provide an invaluable example to other industry players about the edge provided to growers through dynamic lighting when it comes to improving quality and yield and maximizing profits," says Vice President Kassim Tremblay, Business Development for Sollum Technologies. "Growing strawberries under supplemental lighting is no small task," he added, "and Sollum hopes to provide a model for strawberry cultivation using dynamic lights just as we have done for winter pepper production."
"In Québec, we need to innovate to increase and ensure year-round food autonomy. Sollum and SAVOURA stand out with their project to increase and extend strawberry production while ensuring better use of energy," said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
"It is with enthusiasm that I welcome Sollum's decision to carry out an innovative project in the SAVOURA greenhouses in Danville, in the Eastern Townships region. The greenhouse industry stimulates and promotes local purchasing while generating economic benefits. Our government is therefore committed to providing it with the means to exploit new technologies to move forward," said André Bachand, MNA for Richmond.
This is not the first time that Sollum and SAVOURA Group have worked together to contribute to a growing body of research supporting the advantages of dynamic LED lighting in the greenhouse industry. Earlier this year, Sustainable Development Technology Canada granted Sollum $2.5M in phase two funding to conduct greenhouse tomato research in collaboration with SAVOURA Group, PRISM Farms and the Harrow Research and Development Centre.
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