116 bankers and Investors
The British grower association
92% available seats subscribed
75% available seats attended
We successfully launched THE FUTURE – INTELLIGENT FARMING conference series at Victory Services Club in London Friday 21st September 2018. The interest shown by the industry for indoor vertical farming is ever-growing and we are happy to share the highlights with you. In a nutshell, 11000 professional were contacted, 2 grower associations enrolled, 92% available seats subscribed and 75% available seats attended.
According to the United Nations (2013), until 2050 the number of people living in urban areas is expected to rise up to 6 billion. The demographic explosion of mega-cities worldwide added to the lack of arable land, which can only grow 2% from 11% to 13% by 2040, scarce water, greenhouse gas emissions are factors accelerating technology adoption in agriculture. The big question is how to feed that expanding population? Vertical Farming is definitely part of the answer. The market potential is well recognized !
Thanks to our attendees, the forum was interactive, educative, and practical. Embarking into vertical farming is an exciting adventure equally for Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Engineers, Plant Researchers, Investors and Bankers.
We gathered an enthusiastic panel of vertical farming actors Heliospectra for Lighting technologies, Stockbridge Technology Center (STC) for research, INVERCA for Business development, V-Farm for Indoor Controlled environment, and SIGROW for Technologies and Innovation to share with us their views on the industry. The forum was intelligent and passionate.
from Heliospectra which produces lighting solutions for indoor farming. Their team of experts includes Biologists, Plants researchers, software developers, technicians and lighting consultants.
Dr Grazyna Bochenek Plant & Light Researcher presented the challenges of feeding the growing global population and how their lighting control and automation platform monitor the quality and the quantity of light for high quality food, all year around, for all type of installations. Heliospectra agriculture technologies are designed to help your business achieve your production goals.
Marketing Specialist presented V-Farm and its Turn key Urban Farming Solutions which brings farming rooms in the city.
«Crop anywhere in the world, all year around in a fully controlled environment » says Mrs Esvan.
The concept has been developed with a modular structure of mobile racks fitted with gully trays so that it can be completely tailored to fit the available space.
V-Farm contribution to the industry has been recognised by the National Winner of Future Manufactoring Awards in 2016.
Head of Novel Growing Systems presented Stockbridge Technology Center (STC) and its vertical farming development facilities. STC ensures technological developments for the horticultural industry.
Dr Beynon-Davies shows that plants react well and give a better production in a carefully monitored environment (light, temperature, nutrients, humidity, air velocity, biotic factors, substrates).
Variance in Energy (25%) and Labor (20%) cost create the difference between automated and non-automated indoor farms.
Business developer gave us market insights gathered from INVERCA’s Greenhouses experience as a designer and manufacturer.
INVERCA motto is to feed the world, grow and be different. They propose 2 business models for entrepreneurs : Long term contract and Spots on Markets. On the first model there is a long term contract with a retailer ; on the second one the grower harvest and deliver depending on the stock market. The business model will define the technology needed.
The industrialization phase of indoor controlled environment comes with great opportunities. « Monocrop facility is more profitable than multi-crop facility, with a return of investment up to 4 years ».
Logistics’ costs are also a major factor to consider. Since we are looking to create urban farms, pest management/pollution is the last step for a healthy production.
Mr. Michele Butturini Master Student Researcher at Wageningen University defined that innovation is more a matter of practicality. It is different than just injecting high Technologies into the farms: « Innovation is about challenging the tradition ». He insisted: compared to greenhouses where heating creates a big cost, vertical farms generate costs from cooling. Recently, Dr Cecilia Stanghellini from University of Wageningen launched a research on how to better use High temperature in Vertical Farming to grow plants. Moreover, investing in modelling tools help simulate your crop production. But most importantly, logistics is critical : « a good Vertical Farm is the one that sells its production »..