The centre was officially opened by Colin Clark, Under Secretary of State for Scotland. He said: “I am pleased to see the opening of this new Innovation Hub at the James Hutton Institute. Technological innovation is the future of sustainable agriculture and Scotland is home to world leading resources and expertise in this field.”
CHAP partnered with Liberty Produce to develop and build the IHCEA with funding from Innovate UK. The modular structure of self-contained units housing state-of-the-art equipment is designed to create a flexible environment for research and development. With integrated cutting-edge LED lighting systems and patented nutrient delivery technologies, it will enable collaboration between industry, academia and government to work towards making vertical farming sustainable. Its purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable food production year-round through resource-efficient, fully-controlled systems.
It is hoped that the synergy between CHAP, Liberty Produce and the James Hutton Institute will provide a better understanding of total controlled environment technologies, drive innovation and accelerate the growth of the vertical farming sector in the UK.
Fraser Black, CHAP Chief Executive, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Liberty Produce and the James Hutton Institute to establish the Innovation Hub for Controlled Environment Agriculture in Invergowrie. This is a prime example of CHAP’s mission to harness game-changing ideas from our creative and innovative partners to solve the problems industry is facing today and tomorrow. It is a progressive step in our ambition is enable the United Kingdom to become a global leader in CEA and augment the production of healthy food in a sustainable way.”
Zeina Chapman, Liberty Produce Co-Founder and Director, added: “Vertical farming is not yet sustainable; this partnership which has established the IHCEA and Future Farming Hub at the James Hutton Institute marks an advancement of our collective journey towards creating truly sustainable vertical farming technologies. The greater vision of Liberty Produce remains driving innovation that will enable us to meet our global crop requirements without harming the planet.”
The IHCEA is a key part of Liberty Produce’s Future Farming Hub, which will offer a wide range of services, including research and development and CEA training programmes within a commercial demonstrator system, as well as industry and academic collaboration opportunities.
For more information go to the IHCEA page in our Capabilities section.