"This Pharmaceutical application is allowing us to demonstrate the use of Vertical Future’s technology beyond our traditional market of plants for food. We will develop a stand-alone pilot R&D facility for non-food crops that is GACP/GMP compliant which we aim to expand into producing other phytopharmaceuticals”
Jamie Burrows, Co-founder & CEO
We are working in partnership with phytopharmaceutical development company, DePlantis Ltd. to grow a crop used for the production of a licenced medicine using a herbal extract, which will target the common cold and other respiratory conditions.
Vertical Future will develop the first soil-free, hydroponic production of this extract, which is proven to have an anti-viral effect on coughs and colds and is a key active ingredient in over-the-counter drugs, allowing a year-round, reliable source in line with other medicines.
Leaves to Door
A switch to online ordering and less-frequent food delivery services seen at the outset of the COVID crisis highlighted the need for extended shelf-life salads and leafy greens. Funded by Innovate UK in response to the COVID crisis, this project further improves our proprietary growing systems to allow crops to be produced for sale to the consumer still growing.
We are adapting materials commonly used in packaging to produce punnets and growing trays that can be transferred directly from the growing system to the retailer with minimal human handling. Current live plant packaging is predominantly plastic, Innovate UK funding has allowed us to spend more time working to devise a fully biodegradable solution for the market.
By adapting our systems to produce both cut and uncut product provides a greater range of markets for our technology clients to access.
"COVID has been difficult for everyone, yet with funding schemes like this in place, we were not only able to stabilise the production side of the business, but expand it also – and to a wider range of customers”
Dr. Jennifer Bromley, Head of Plant Research & Development
“Vertical farming is a young but growing sector and so finding ways to protect yields, reduce agrochemical use and improve the quality of produce will be critical to its continued growth.”
- Dr. Jennifer Bromley, Head of Plant Research & Development
We have partnered with the crop science organisation NIAB and Zayndu, a start-up agritech company in the ‘CHOPS’ project to develop technologies and methodologies to deliver sustainable fresh produce with zero agro-chemical inputs from CEA facilities.
A project funded by Innovate UK over 2 years, as a consortium, we are aiming to scale up and further develop a non-chemical seed pre-treatment system as well as carry out significant greenhouse and vertical farm trials to identify varieties which are more suited to controlled growth environments. Through NIAB’s extensive genomics expertise, we will try to find any common link between these varieties to help speed up future variety choice.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals which are consumed in small quantities but are nonetheless essential for physical and mental development. They include (but are not limited to) iron, zinc, calcium, folate, vitamin A, B-vitamins, and vitamin C.
Poor eating habits have led a large extent of the population globally to suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. The severe effects of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as anaemia, general loss of productivity and blindness, have long been known.
At Vertical Future we are working on analysing our produce to understand their composition and explore how we can utilise our flexible advanced growing systems, including lighting and nutrient delivery, in order to improve their vitamin and mineral content beyond the standard. These way, through our VF farms network, we will be able to feed our population with more nutritious crops.
“Vertical Future’s vision is about building a healthier future for the planet; this includes finding better, smarter and more sustainable ways of growing healthier and more nutritious crops to feed our population.”