We are proud to run four projects that explore the potential of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) in a range of contexts. The Tech Tyfu Project is delivered and managed by Menter Môn
Tech Tyfu Pilot
Our original venture into vertical farming, this ongoing project invited applications from aspiring growers to receive a year’s free use of one of our vertical farming units. We received applications from individuals and businesses alike, who have since successfully established supply chains for their vertically farmed, local, fresh food. To enable the growers to meet their objectives, we provide webinars, workshops and specialist advice to support ongoing skills development, and to find new supply chains for their produce.
The goal of the Tech Tyfu Pilot project was to give growers the opportunity to develop skills using vertical farms, bypassing initial upfront costs which are often prohibitive to new businesses and individuals. In this project our growers have piloted a wide variety of crops, growing methods and materials, paving the way for our subsequent Tech Tyfu Scale Up project launching in Spring 2022. Tech Tyfu Pilot received funding from the Welsh Government Rural Development Fund (RDF 2014-2020).
Tech Tyfu Scale Up
Launching in Spring 2022, our Scale Up project will continue the successes of the Tech Tyfu Pilot project. An open call will invite aspiring participants to express their interest in receiving a range of vertical farming equipment in consultation with a design engineer to provide bespoke solutions to meet our growers’ needs. Growers will have access to specialist support, skills development, and workshops to scale-up their vertical farming abilities and develop supply chains for their produce. Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more information to come on how to apply. Tech Tyfu Scale Up received funding from the Welsh Government Rural Development Fund (RDF 2014-2020).
Tech Tyfu Twf
Established in 2021, the Tech Tyfu Twf project is pioneering vertical farming in secondary education on Anglesey, and aims to reach more schools across Wales in the future.
Delivering the new Curriculum for Wales.
The new Curriculum for Wales allows secondary schools to develop their own curriculum with emphasis on cross-curricular, project-based learning. Vertical farming provides an excellent opportunity to deliver the aims of the new curriculum in STEM subjects such as biology, technology, and product design, and highlights opportunities for pupils to pursue vocational qualifications such as catering and construction. Our pilot participant Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi received a vertical farm and a full supply of consumables from Tech Tyfu in spring 2021, alongside specialist support from project staff to design an educational project. Students were able to grow their own produce, develop a salad-bag product and sell to parents, staff and local business owners. Nia Wyn Jones, Assistant Head of Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi spoke highly of her pupil’s experience with Tech Tyfu Twf:
“As a school, we are very fortunate to have received a vertical farm through the Tech Tyfu Twf scheme… After some research, and accepting the unit, we came to understand the importance of growing vegetables in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The unit was run by a group of Year 11 boys. As well as growing healthy and tasty vegetables, the boys developed skills for the workplace including:
- Proactively avoiding problems,
- Problem solving,
- Working as a team,
- Effective and clear communication,
- Working to deadlines.
… There is a sign on Menai Bridge that says “Mon Mam Cymru” (Anglesey Mother of Wales). Perhaps, in years to come, this title will be just as relevant as we develop the use of vertical farms.”
Following the success at Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi and great interest from teachers across the island, Tech Tyfu Twf launched in three more high schools on Anglesey in 2021. Project staff help to design and deliver bespoke lessons on vertical farming to all secondary key stages, with flexible emphasis depending on the aims of the curriculum. The project offers schools the opportunity to involve students in a real-life project, combining academic learning, engaging practical tasks, key skills development and state-of-the-art technology. At present, there is a shortage of students moving into STEM subjects, and this project aims to encourage students to aspire to STEM fields in further education and employment, using current contexts such as climate change, innovation in business and space exploration to keep learning exciting and relevant to our modern world. We have partnered with Agxio, an artificial intelligence company, to provide cutting edge sensing technology and an app-based data analysis tool to help schools meet the objectives of the Digital Competencies Framework laid out in the new Curriculum for Wales.
We aim to expand this project to deliver the benefits of Tech Tyfu Twf to more schools in Wales. If you would like to express your interest in Tech Tyfu Twf for your school, please contact us.
All schools are welcome to download our free vertical farming learning materials. Click here to download our School Packs.
Tech Tyfu Twf received funding
Tech Tyfu Innovation Hub
The Tech Tyfu Innovation Hub is the first major step to embedding vertical farming into the Welsh economy, taking the form of a new research, development and education facility at Menai Science Parc dedicated to developing and showcasing innovation in vertical farming.
Featuring the first technology of its kind in the world, the Innovation Hub will house the first ever dual Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) / Flood and drain moving systems designed by Tech Tyfu project partners, V-Farm. The Hub will facilitate precision growing for a variety of crops, featuring dimmable lights for custom growth cycles, and an auto-dosing system for automatic, custom nutrient delivery.
The Innovation Hub seeks to create ways to overcome real and perceived barriers to growing fresh produce in North Wales. The Hub will showcase vertical farming technology at a commercial scale and offer space, resources and education for new and existing growers to pilot growing methods, trial new technology, and test new crops. Tech Tyfu aim to partner with a variety of industry and academic partners to utilise this innovative space to its full potential.
The Tech Tyfu Innovation Hub received funding from the Business Innovation and Tourism Escalator Scheme (BITES)