‘Deliver increased commercial economic and environmental benefits to the agricultural, food and drink sectors in the UK and internationally by innovative use of precision controlled environmental technologies.’
There is a technological revolution underway in crop production systems with increased crop monitoring and data analysis combined with robotic technologies such as drones, making crop production a much more precise operation.
At the same, significant investment is going into total controlled environment growing systems such as vertical indoor farms that are expected to have a market value approaching $10 billion by 2025.
Advanced sensing technologies are able to continually assess plant condition and response to their environment. This data when combined with artificial intelligence will lead to self-leaning crop production systems that automatically adjust key parameters such as light, nutrition, humidity and temperature to create the optimum growing environment for tasty, healthy and disease free crops. These technologies offer an opportunity for the accelerated development of new crop varieties that can thrive in a changing global agricultural environment.
Outdoor grown crops need greater resilience to environmental stresses while there are opportunities to breed varieties better adapted to indoor growing. There is also a need to understand and model how crops and crop diseases will react to changing global environments, how natural ecosystems will respond and how post-harvest supply and value chains can be optimised and made more sustainable.
APGC will take advantage of technological advances in controlled environment growth and post-harvest storage systems to support, de-risk and develop the entire food and drink sector.
- Develop plant varieties for vertical growth facilities including those suitable for automatic harvesting and bio-pharma use.
- Develop speed breeding to halve the development time for new crops.
- Develop new crop varieties that can tolerate climate change, evolving pest and disease risks.
- Work with our commercial partners Intelligent Growth Solutions to develop the technology associated with vertical growth systems including plant/light interaction, sensor technology and the understanding of factors affecting taste and flavour.
- Work with industry to develop support clusters to understand sector needs and drive knowledge exchange.