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Scotland's first vertical indoor farm unveiled at Hutton Dundee site

IGS' vertical indoor farming facility (courtesy IGS)
"There are genuine potential game-changing opportunities both for new and conventional horticultural and agricultural systems that can come from the collaboration between IGS and the James Hutton Institute"

Scottish-based agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd has unveiled its first indoor vertical farming demonstration building at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee. The facility, formally opened by John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North and Deputy First Minister of Scotland, is arguably the world's most technically advanced indoor farm.

The IGS facility utilises its ground-breaking, patented power and communications technologies to address the key challenges facing the indoor farming industry. Fundamental barriers of cost of power and labour have inhibited the sector’s expansion to date, as well as the inability to produce consistent and quality produce at scale. The technology has been designed to overcome these barriers and significantly lower the cost of production overall.

With global market growth predicted at 24 per cent over the next three years, opportunities are substantial, with over 95 per cent of its technology solutions expected to be exported. The farm will not be producing crops for sale, but IGS 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 in 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.

Vertical farming offers huge reductions in water wastage, the elimination of the use of pesticides and a huge reduction in food miles. It allows produce to be grown locally and on demand, which could reduce fresh food waste by up to 90 per cent.

David Farquhar, CEO of IGS, said: “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 the new facility at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee was deliberately chosen to enhance collaboration opportunities. Scientists and researchers at the Institute will be working with IGS to better understand how growing under lights can impact different varieties of crop growth, as well as drive increased productivity.

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, commented: “There have been fantastic synergies oming 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.

“The collaboration has proved to be a major strength in developing proposals for a new research facility at Invergowrie called the Advanced Plant Growth Centre and we look forward to help establishing Scotland as lead science centre for this new industry.”

Notes to editors

Intelligent Growth Solutions 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). The Scottish-led IGS team have developed, patented and productised a breakthrough, 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. It also can produce yields of up to 200 per cent more than that of a traditional greenhouse.

More information from: 

Kate Forster, Head of Marketing, Intelligent Growth Solutions, Tel: +44 (0) 7787 534999, or Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/scotlands-first-vertical-indoor-farm-unveiled-hutton-dundee-site on 13/12/18 03:08:23 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.