University of Essex's Aeroponic Innovation

Discover this week's latest development from the world of Controlled Environment Agriculture.

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This Week’s Indoor Farming Highlight: IAG Installs VF System at The University of Essex

Image provided by Innovation Agritech Group

Innovation Agritech Group (IAG), a leader in aeroponic vertical farming technology, announced the successful installation of their GrowFrame360™ system at the University of Essex. This installation is the first in a UK university located within the University’s new £3 million Smart Technology Experimental Plant Suite (STEPS). The collaboration aims to advance sustainable agricultural practices and integrate cutting-edge research in an educational setting.

System Features and Benefits

GrowFrame360™ noted for its minimal water use and soil-free growing capabilities, is central to the University’s strategy to foster innovative plant research. “Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in combining advanced technology, education, and research to address global challenges,” stated Kate Brunswick, Business Development Director at IAG. The system employs an automatic aeroponic irrigation system that recycles 98% of water, showcasing its efficiency and environmental benefits.

Educational and Research Impact

The University of Essex integrates this technology into its curriculum, allowing students to develop and conduct experiments alongside internationally renowned researchers. This hands-on approach is designed to provide students with a unique and practical learning experience in modern agricultural technologies. Professor Tracy Lawson, Director of Essex Plant Innovation Centre, highlighted the educational benefits: “The GrowFrame is ideal for our experiments because of its capabilities and flexibility. It’s particularly important for our students as we train the next generation of scientists.”

Research Facility and Capabilities

The STEPS facility is equipped to conduct advanced research on plant adaptation to climate change and enhancing food security. It includes a commercial-grade indoor farm that can simulate various global environmental conditions and specialized suites to replicate warming planet scenarios. The facility utilizes AI and robotics to pioneer new agricultural methodologies and forecast changes in the natural environment.

Looking Forward

As the University of Essex and IAG continue their partnership, they aim to significantly impact the resilience and productivity of the agricultural and horticulture sectors. “Our pioneering GrowFrame360™ technology will help scientists and students make a profound impact on the agriculture and horticulture sector,” said Brunswick.

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