Innovation Agri-Tech Group (IAG) is a British agricultural technology company which provides cutting-edge solutions to compliment the traditional challenges of farming. We specialise in Indoor Vertical Aeroponics, which means our technology use up to 98% less water than conventional farming. We have the ability to create urban food production, therefore reducing food miles and offering the opportunity to provide fresh clean, nutritious food closer to the consumer.
IAG’s patented flagship system, the GrowFrame™, is unique to the global vertical farming market. A modular system, the GrowFrame™ uses aeroponic irrigation and closed loop water recycling to provide water and highly precise nutrients with no pesticides, as well as being proven to produce a healthier root system and superior crop growth – up to 15 harvesting cycles per year.
The roots of plants grown this way are free to absorb the maximum amount of oxygen, without the restrictions of soil compaction, creating strong, vigorous crops that taste delicious and grow much faster with anticipated extended shelf life compared to conventional methods.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
The idea for IAG was born out of seeing the plight of farmers in the Punjab region, where my family originally comes from and farmed the land. Punjab derives its name from the Persian words panj (five) and āb (water), meaning the “land of five rivers”. But now the state is often in the news for its rapidly depleting groundwater levels. Couple this with intensive farming on the land, and there is a real issue at hand which could, in not too much time, lead to barren land and even more hunger in a country where problems are already well-known worldwide.
I wanted to create a solution which gave people around the world, but especially in areas where land is over farmed or water is scarce, the opportunity to grow nutritious and delicious crops in a sustainable way.
Since the inception of IAG, we have created a unique business which now develops industry-leading technology – this autumn we launch our bespoke and patented GrowFrame™ technology. We have so many experienced people on the team who have been able to make this possible – from our plant-scientists and university professors on our advisory board, to our commercial and business teams. Every person who is part of our journey is an essential part of what makes IAG.
All this has come together to create a system, the GrowFrame 360™, which is a self-contained space for growing crops. It is so simple to use, there are no complex training barriers to use, whether you’re a farmer, horticulturalist or agronomist. We install it, and then it essentially uses a ‘plug and play’ system allowing farmers to use it anywhere which has an electricity supply and enough water to mist the crops.
More from Interviews
- Meet Rachel Hartley, Co-Founder of Nutracheck
- Meet Matteo Penzo, CEO and Co-founder of Social E-Learning Platform: zick learn
- Meet Jordan Bucknell, CEO of eCommerce Agency: Upbeat Marketing
- Meet Natasha Morrison, Chief Operating Officer at WeFlex
- Meet Dan Awais-Dean CEO of Property Platform: EverKnock
- Meet Emma Davey, Founder of MyNARA.
- Max Azarov, Co-Founder and CEO of Novakid and TR100 Judge, Explains What He’s Looking for From Entrants
- Meet Kady Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer at ePOS and Payment Platform: Lightspeed
How has the company evolved from conception to now?
We are unrecognisable from where we were five years ago – the years of research and development has led to where we are today, establishing the most optimised solution possible, launching our GrowFrame™ 360.
In the last year alone, we have:
- Appointed an Advisory Board, with Professor Tracy Lawson, professor in the Plant Productivity group and Director of Plant Phenotyping at Essex University, and Dr Chris Foulds, PhD in chemistry from the University of Bristol who brings nearly 40 years’ experience in the food and drinks industry, with the last 25 years in fresh produce, as the founding members
- Welcomed entrepreneur, founder of Bannatyne Group and ‘Dragon’, Duncan Bannatyne as a Non-Executive Director
- Secured funding with the University of Essex to create a £3.5 million research facility to enable the university of continue its world-leading plant productivity research. IAG will be installing its innovative and patented GrowFrame™, as well as of a wider advanced technology system, which will include artificial intelligence (AI), environmental sensors and water management systems
- Appointed a global sales team to help the business transition from R&D to revenue, as well as growing the wider team with a number of appointments including Dr Deepa Manikkath Haridas, Lead Plant Scientist, Felix Trimmer, Molecular Biologist, Matt Taylor, Commercial Assistant, and David Farley as Consultant Advisor.
IAG is proud to launch our GrowFrame™ 360 vertical farming solution. Refined to result in a highly precise growing process using the very best technology developed with carefully selected British partners, the much anticipated and innovative technology is set to take vertical farming to the next level, revolutionising the way we produce crops both in the UK and globally. Fully automated and managed from a Human Machine Interface (HMI), with real-time data monitoring, the technology accelerates crop growth to potentially 15 harvest cycles per year, compared to the three-to-four of traditional farming, with the equivalent of 10 acres of growing space housed within 135m2.
What can we hope to see from Innovation Agri-Tech in the future?
What we create at Innovation Agri-Tech Group is constantly evolving. While we are now at the launch stage, our continuous search for ongoing refinement, our analysis of the market both in the UK and globally, and the continued and constant advancement of our technology will never stop.
We hope to continue to bring to the table exciting and groundbreaking innovations and showcase what we are developing through launch events and new products. We want to see our team continue to grow and ultimately, want to see our technology implemented around the world and see it making a genuine difference to lives of real people through the growth and delivery of more, healthy and nutritious produce.