EFFORTS to develop vertical farming technology are to get a share in £90million of UK Government funding allocated as part of its drive to get agriculture to 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2040.

Derby-based company Light Science Technologies is one of just 23 feasibility projects which will benefit from this cash pot from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, as part of its 'Transforming Food Production' challenge.

In partnership with Nottingham Trent University, LST will be leading the project to develop a growing sensor and transmission node for vertical farms over the next six months.

It is hoped that this ‘all in one’ indoor farm sensor will enable farms to monitor and control their environment by measuring key areas including light, water, air, temperature, humidity, oxygen and soil to ensure optimal plant productivity and yield.

CEO of LST, Simon Deacon, said: “This is an especially important boost to our business. To be selected by Innovate UK is confirmation of the urgent need for more sustainable, productive and cost-effective solutions in farming. Investment in UK technology and innovation in this sector is crucial in achieving a better approach to agricultural production and reducing emissions.”

Innovate UK executive chair Dr Ian Campbell added: “There are many innovative projects in our latest feasibility competition showcasing ideas for improving productivity and cutting emissions that range across the whole agricultural sector, from arable, to livestock, to sensor technology and to new biopesticides. Our funding and support for these projects is ongoing.”