Perhaps the most timely and innovative development in Wales’ controlled environment agriculture (CEA) space is Vertikit, which is a new, one-stop shop for those looking to enter the world of vertical farming and CEA. Tech Tyfu has recently hosted a presentation from Dr William Stiles, the Director of Vertikit and lecturer on the Aberystwyth University BioInnovation Wales course, who had the chance to meet and talk to our growers at our Innovation Hub in M-Sparc.
Vertikit have a vision, believing that anyone can build their own vertical farm. Aiming to give growers across the industry access to new technology, alike the technology which is used in major grow houses across the country, curating and translating such equipment options, and showcasing the latest technology as it emerges. Like Tech Tyfu, this is based on an approach that builds the UK CEA industry from the bottom upwards, developing supply chains and R&D along the way with a lower risk and higher likelihood of success.
The team at Vertikit comprises of scientists and industrial professionals who possess a variety of well-equipped skills across horticultural science. Working extensively alongside growers and manufacturers within the growing vertical farming and CEA industry, in terms of research and support capacities, and understanding the challenges and potential opportunities that are there to develop this sector of plant production.
Vertikit hopes that by bringing the best technology together into a one-stop shop for vertical farming and CEA, they can help to develop the industry at a rapid pace, helping you, the growers to grow crops in every sense.
Here at Tech Tyfu, our team and growers are currently embarking on the launch of our Scaleup Project, where we are inviting applications from individuals and groups to propose their own ideas to build vertical farming infrastructure. We will be utilising as much as possible the resource provided by Vertikit to help us achieve this, building on the successes of our growers we have been supporting trial vertical farming technology over the last two years.
The aim of the Scaleup Project is to create self-sustaining food supply chains, for fresh, vertically farmed produce. In turn, this will develop longer-term economic benefits for the Welsh agri-food industry. The upscaled production of vertically farmed produce within the region will make the industry more economically viable for those within it, whilst also attracting investment from a range of stakeholders, such as retailers and hospitality businesses. Globally, vertical farming is estimated to reach over £9.16 billion globally by 2026, with the demand for organic food expected to increase rapidly over that period.
The project hopes to stimulate the well-being of North Wales’ future generations, by working together as a community, to bring the environmental and economic benefits of vertical farming to the forefront of our food supply chains. Tech Tyfu Scaleup will embed vertical farming into the economy, using innovative ideas and novel vertical farming methods. Such growing techniques can help create local culinary gems, which can champion Welsh food produce. This will help create a sense of place for locals and tourists, through a sustainable, local food supply chain.
To visit the services provided by Vertikit, please visit their website @ http://www.vertikit.co.uk