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Philips Horticulture Collaborates With Siemens and 80 Acres Farms

Philips Horticulture Collaborates With Siemens and 80 Acres Farms

EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands – Signify announces a collaboration between Philips Horticulture LED Solutions, 80 Acres Farms, and Siemens for the global scale-up of vertical farming. “We envision a future where vertical farming contributes to a healthier lifestyle for consumers around the world. In our collaboration with 80 Acres Farms and Siemens, we are reimagining farming,” says Ellis Janssen, Global Director City Farming at Philips Horticulture LED Solutions.

Knowledge sharing and collaboration key to success

Proving enough food for the future is one of the world’s most urgent challenges. The global population is growing rapidly and is increasingly urbanized, while climate change is making growing conditions less predictable. Vertical farming has the potential to improve the way we feed the world. It can provide reliable, sustainable production of healthy food, grown close to the consumer.

But vertical farming is a relatively new and still small industry. Unleashing its potential demands more commercially successful farms and global scalability. Successful global growth will require a greater diversity and uniqueness of products that add value to consumers’ plates, such as new crop types and increased nutritional value. “The vertical farming industry needs to mature,” says Ellis Janssen. “To scale up, we need integrated farming systems with higher standardization, automation and digitization that provide increased efficiency. This collaboration will enable the knowledge sharing and collaboration that are the keys to success.”

80 Acres Farms and Philips Horticulture LED Solutions: early partners in growth

With headquarters in Ohio, 80 Acres Farms is one of the pioneers in vertical farming and one of the first companies to master the art of scale-up. In 2016, it opened its first R&D farm, supported by know-how from Netherlands-based technology subsidiary, Infinite Acres.

Philips Horticulture LED Solutions’ collaboration with 80 Acres Farms began in 2017. “Anyone can grow plants indoors, but, until recently, almost no one has figured out how to make vertical farming scalable and profitable,” says Tisha Livingston, co-founder of 80 Acres Farms and CEO of Infinite Acres, the company’s Netherlands-based technology subsidiary. “Getting there has taken focused, long-term collaboration with some of the best technology companies in the world.”   Philips Horticulture LED Solutions provided knowledge on the effect of lighting on plants, on how to align lighting with climate and irrigation strategies, and on yield predictions. Philips Horticulture LED Solutions also developed customized light recipes for Infinite Acres.

Since 2016, 80 Acres Farms has opened new facilities each year, introducing new crop types and new levels of automation. Technology and business growth on this scale require a rapid and steep learning curve. Plant growth, irrigation, climate control and lighting all require the latest specialist knowledge. “We believe in working closely with partners in egoless collaboration,” says Tisha. “That’s why we invest in long-term, highly collaborative relationships.”

More technology power from Siemens

To optimize costs and production processes, vertical farms need to digitize and automate their operations. But many companies struggle to do so. Fast-changing technology and limited focus on standardization make it difficult to gather the qualitative data from systems that provide the required levels of transparency across different workflows.

The joint development with Siemens, a leading technology company and supplier of automation and industrial software, will enable rapid global scale-up for 80 Acres Farms. With knowledge and experience gained from a great diversity of industries, the Siemens’ Xcelerator open data platform will provide the required technology and ecosystem for digitization, automation, and standardization throughout the whole supply chain.

“Open ecosystems are super important to take the next steps toward autonomous farming,” says Rick Schneiders, Global Business Development for CEA at Siemens. “In digitization, collaboration is key to strengthening each other’s business models and creating smart, scalable systems. We can change the industry with open platforms where companies work together. Collaborating with leaders like 80 Acres Farms and Philips Horticulture LED Solutions, we can define the standards needed to scale smart farming solutions.”

Join our journey to reimagine farming

80 Acres Farms, Siemens and Philips Horticulture LED Solutions envision a future in which clean, efficient, profitable vertical farming brings healthy food to millions of people around the world. The opportunities and potential benefits to society are formidable. Teaming up is the smart and fastest way to scale up. Do you see a role for your enterprise or knowledge in this cooperative venture? Contact the team.


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