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AeroFarms builds Agtech R&D Centre in Abu Dhabi
- June 28, 2021
- William Payne
New Jersey based vertical farming specialist AeroFarms has started construction on a new research centre in Abu Dhabi that will focus on indoor farming and agtech.
In partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), AeroFarms aims to advance sustainable controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and vertical farming in Abu Dhabi and throughout the wider Middle East, and help address broader global agriculture supply chain issues.
Last year, ADIO announced that it is providing $150 million in incentives to bring global agtech pioneers to Abu Dhabi, including its partnership with AeroFarms to build a vertical farming facility dedicated to developing next generation agriculture in arid and desert climates. The R&D conducted at AeroFarms new AgX research and development facility in Abu Dhabi is expected to enable new business lines, technologies, and growth of the AeroFarms platform, while serving as a hub for regional expansion.
AeroFarms AgX is expected to be completed and operational in the first quarter of 2022.
Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO, said: “This important milestone for AeroFarms AgX is another step in the realisation of Abu Dhabi’s mission to ‘turn the desert green’. In line with this goal, ADIO is supporting innovative technology that has the potential to impact farming practices across the globe and improve the food production value chain worldwide. AeroFarms AgX will add to the growing capabilities of Abu Dhabi’s agriculture ecosystem while benefiting from the emirate’s plentiful land, natural heat, competitive energy prices, access to research universities, and skilled talent.”
At 54,000 square feet, AeroFarms AgX will be the largest indoor vertical farm of its kind for research and development in the world, leading the way in breakthrough innovation to solve some of the world’s most pressing agriculture challenges. AeroFarms AgX will employ a projected 60 highly skilled engineers, horticulturists and scientists and will have high-tech laboratories conducting organoleptic research and precision phenotyping, phytochemical analysis, advanced speed breeding, as well as next-generation machine vision, machine learning, robotics, and automation. AeroFarms AgX will also play a key role in Abu Dhabi’s AgTech ecosystem by working with local universities on research projects to tackle problems of agriculture within desert and arid climates.
David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of AeroFarms, commented: “This is an important development for AeroFarms as we expand globally and leverage our R&D and growing expertise. AeroFarms has been the global leader for controlled environment agriculture since 2004, and we will utilise this cutting-edge R&D Centre to conduct the latest research in plant science, vertical farming and automation, accelerating innovation cycles and commercialising products. Our vision has always been to leverage our expertise in plant biology and build on our successful history of collaborating with government, universities, industry and major international companies. We are pleased to take this step forward and proud to be a catalyst for helping to establish the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a global hub for AgTech innovation.”