SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Indoor vertical farming company &ever is setting up its global research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore.
The facility will be co-located with the German firm's mega-farm in Changi, which is slated to begin operations in the fourth quarter of next year.
&ever's latest announcement comes about a month after the firm said it received a funding award under the Singapore Food Agency's "30x30 Express" grant to build its indoor vertical farm.
The grant provides financial support for local food production, while "30x30" refers to Singapore's goal of producing 30 per cent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030.
&ever has teamed up with lighting company Signify and plans to work with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and local academic institutes to explore research collaborations, it said.
Research activities will focus on reducing energy consumption and optimising yield in &ever's indoor vertical farms. The first project will focus on hybrid lighting systems, which combine sunlight-capturing systems with LED grow lights.
The R&D centre will be set up with support from the Economic Development Board.
Last month, &ever said it would produce up to 500,000 kilogrammes of leafy greens annually for consumers in Singapore.
"Using 90 per cent less water, 60 per cent less fertiliser and zero pesticides, &ever produces plants that are more nutrient-rich and better for the environment," the company said.
Its fully automated technology allows for everything inside the farms to be controlled digitally - from the seeding to harvesting, carbon dioxide levels, temperature and airflow. This controlled environment leads to faster growth cycles and higher crop yield, &ever said.