AgriTech firm Light Science Technologies Ltd (LST) has announced the start of a project to develop a cloche lighting and sensor technology system for the controlled environmental agriculture (CEA) market, reducing the need for import substitution by extending the harvest window.
The contracted project, potentially worth up to £13.84 million, is with UK grower Zenith Nurseries Ltd and Morrish Engineering Ltd. It will focus on development of the new cloche product, which will be the first retrofittable, semi-automated, all-in-one lighting and sensor solution, providing year-round harvests for growers across multiple plant varieties in vertical farming, polytunnel and glasshouse environments.
Furthermore, the solution is intended to extend the use of LST’s award-winning nurturGROW sensor to new market applications, such as agriculture fields.
With an initial potential UK market of 4,000 industrial growers, producing over 300 types of field-scale and protected vegetable and salad crops, and tree and berry fruits, the solution will aim to improve productivity by increasing yields.
It will look to help growers by providing a possible solution to labour shortages and reduce the need for import substitution by extending the harvest window.
Simon Deacon, CEO of Light Science Technologies, said the development of the LED grow lighting technology is an exciting progression.
We are delighted to be working with growers in the development of tailored supplementary hybrid lighting [LED and natural light] system providing targeted, actionable data insights of the nine cardinals of plant life and soil health, based upon the data collected.
“We are in the midst of an extremely buoyant period of growth for LST, having last month floated on the London Stock Exchange.
"We have a growing number of routes to increased commercialisation and believe that we are well placed to scale up rapidly.”