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UK: Light Science Technologies win grant to develop sensors to improve greenhouse growing capabilities

Light Science Technologies, have been awarded a £206,742 grant for the development of their agricultural sensors.

As part of an Innovate UK collaborative scheme to transform commercial greenhouse plants and food production, Light Science Technologies will be taking their SensorGROW project to the next level.

The SensorGROW system gathers real-time data on light, temperature, humidity, CO2, and pressure. The grant will fund further development so the SensorGROW can gather even more precise readings of root zone data metrics.

This will enable horticulturists to make more informed decisions that improve productivity, yield and sustainability in greenhouse and in field grown crops.

"Our SensorGROW product is a significant step in horticultural technology. This grant gives us an opportunity to expand the capabilities of our sensors even further and continue pioneering in the field of horticultural technology," says Craig Price, Operations Director of Light Science Technologies.

Established in 2019, Light Science Technologies has helped enhance growing conditions for crops grown under glass with their lighting and monitoring solutions.

Their innovations in technology are used within commercial glasshouses and polytunnels, including vertical farming and growing medical plants. With an expert in-house laboratory team, Light Science Technologies is continually seeking to develop technology to improve yields from crops grown under glass.

"Our development of the SensorGROW will offer a complete 360° perspective with its integrated environmental and substrate sensors, giving growers the greatest and most precise insights into their growing conditions," states Craig.

For commercial greenhouses, the top three costs are typically labour, energy and fertiliser. Without data to drive informed decisions, these can be inefficiently used, resulting in wasted resources and a lower yield.

Manual evaluations of plant and soil health are still widely used, which can lead to data inaccuracies and require lengthy plant-by-plant measurements.

With the financial support awarded by the grant, Light Science Technologies aims to give growers the ability to resolve uncertainties in growing environments.

"Creating and maintaining the optimal growing environment for plants has always been a challenge for commercial growers. The next level development of our SensorGROW will help the industry utilize resources in an even more effective and targeted manner, leading to less disease, fewer pests, faster growth, healthier plants, and bigger yields!" concludes Craig.

Also involved in the project are horticultural experts Bridge Farm Horticulture and commercial grower Zenith Nurseries. The partners will be collaborating together over the next 12 months to prototype, test and produce the system that makes the prospect of year-round growing a profitable reality.

The grant is funded in collaboration by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Innovate UK's Transforming Food Production Challenge. The project is set to be ongoing until the end of March 2025.

For more information:
Light Science Technologies

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