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Farmers feed cities; lighting growth recipes feed farmers


July 10, 2015
By Anthony Capkun

July 9, 2015 – Royal Philips has opened its GrowWise Centre at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, where research is being conducted to provide tailor-made LED light growth recipes that enable producers to “increase their yields and grow tasty and healthy food indoors, all year round”.

“The research we are undertaking will enable local food production on a global scale, reducing waste, limiting food miles and using practically no land or water,” said Gus van der Feltz, Philips global director of City Farming.

The new 234-m2 facility will concentrate its research on optimizing growth recipes for leafy vegetables, strawberries and herbs. Other areas of research will find ways to grow more carbohydrate-rich crops, like wheat and potatoes, indoors.

The research centre is a clean, sterile environment that is totally isolated from natural light and air, enabling fully controlled growing conditions. The facility uses connected LED systems that are fully customizable, allowing for the development of ‘growth recipes’ tailored to each crop variety or producers’ requirements. The end result promises “better-tasting products, grown in a more sustainable way and without the need for pesticides”.

The facility features four-layered mechanized planting racks in each of its eight climate rooms, resulting in a total growing surface of 234 m2. Each plantation layer at the facility sports Philips GreenPower LEDs, which are designed specifically for growing crops and allow for fine tuning.