A Derbyshire-based agricultural technology company has received funding to support the development of its LED grow light bell product.
Light Science Technologies Holdings has been awarded a £503,000 grant to its CEA division of Innovate UK as part of its Farming Initiative Pathway (FIP) consortium for more sustainable and efficient plant growth in the UK agricultural sector.
The company’s grow light bell is expected to be an all-in-one retrofittable light sensing automation platform designed for polytunnels and greenhouses. It is designed to extend the growing season, allowing farmers to grow year-round as well as a greater variety of produce.
The technology is being developed under a previously announced contract and consortium between Light Science Technologies Ltd, Zenith Nurseries and Morrish Engineering Limited, which began in November 2021 with a potential value of up to $13.84 million. of pounds sterling.
The project is divided into four stages to prototype, develop and market the offer over an estimated period of 21 months. Once the prototype is complete, it will be tested at Zenith Nurseries’ existing culture site for six months to validate the data.
Managing Director Simon Deacon said: “Due to shorter growing seasons, unpredictable weather conditions and a heavy reliance on manual labor processes, the UK is struggling to produce enough food to meet demand. .
“We are delighted to have been selected for funding by Innovate UK, which demonstrates the potential value of the bell product in alleviating these national issues and expanding our routes to market.
“We look forward to keeping the market informed of developments as the company capitalizes on its growing number of avenues to market.”
Light Science Technologies also made two appointments to the CEA team. Chuanching Foo joins the team as a senior scientist, where she will assume full responsibility for the operation and management of the division’s on-site laboratory facilities.
Additionally, Chris Shenton joins as National Account Manager, bringing 15 years of experience at some of the world’s largest lighting manufacturers to focus on supporting existing customers as well as expanding the customer portfolio of business through the development of new business opportunities.
Deacon added, “The new appointments further reinforce LST’s strategic goals in indoor farming and help build on the momentum we are currently enjoying. With their expertise, they will both help develop and commercialize our award-winning technology to revolutionize agriculture and the interior. growth.”