Innovative agri-food projects announced as winners of clean technology awards
Airponix has been announced as overall winner of the Rushlight Award for its soilless smart agriculture system for staple food crop production.
Now in their 11th year, the Rushlight Awards are a celebration and a promotion of new technology, innovation and best practice across the whole environment spectrum for organisations throughout UK, Ireland and internationally. Designed to highlight innovation, initiatives and the holistic environmental benefit of technologies that are most likely to or are already creating a real impact in the market, they are a means of disseminating the successes to support further development.
Airponix have been announced as overall winners of the 2017-18 awards for their innovative technology that can help to mitigate world hunger by allowing staple food crops to be grown with no soil or agricultural land, less than 15% of the normal water input, no chemicals (organic quality produce), no fossil fuels or heavy plant and yields more than 10 times the output from conventional farming.
The breakthrough innovation is its ability to create engineered fogs to feed the roots and foliage, as opposed to mists or sprays which conventional aeroponic systems use, and this is achieved by using the well-proven piezoelectric technology of inkjet printer heads resulting in a greater than 90% saving in energy requirements. Through the use of low-cost growth chambers, the system is resilient to weather extremes and climate change effects.
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Irrigation system wins Rushlight Resource Innovation Award
The Rushlight Resource Innovation Award also went to an agri-food innovation – the SCORRES Project with partners Heriot-Watt University, Auraventi Ltd, Scene Connect, Findhorn Foundation College, Auroville Consulting and Auroville Centre for Scientific Research.¬† The project is developing a robust, efficient, affordable and smart irrigation system to help tackle the food, water, energy trilemma.
The system combines a highly localised weather forecast with local know-how on irrigation needs and soil conditions, to produce a ‚Äòright time, right volume‚Äô approach to micro-irrigation. The test system has increased crop yields, reduced labour and composting requirements and reduced water and energy consumption, leading to improved utilisation of power, increased grid stability and potential higher farmer revenues.
The Rushlight Show
The Rushlight Awards ceremony followed on from the Rushlight Show, which was held on¬†25 January 2018 at The Royal Geographical Society, London. A highlight of the Show was the¬†announcement by Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, of a matched funding arrangement with the Republic of Korea which will see ¬£6m available for the further development of energy storage innovations and technology.
The Rushlight Show hosted the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Round 4 Showcase of over 60 projects and incorporated the Resourceful Conference focused on the circular economy, the Cleantech Innovation Showcase, the Sustainable Solutions Market Panel, an Exhibition and a number of other activities throughout the day.
Clive Hall, Founder of the Rushlight Awards, commented: ‚ÄúClean innovation is a key driver for growth across our whole economy, helping us find new ways to manage our environmental footprint, reduce costs and help put our businesses on a more sustainable and competitive footing. The progress that has been made over the last 11 years has been achieved in no small part through the successes of organisations such as those we are celebrating and promoting through the Awards.‚Äù
You can find out more about the Rushlight Awards, and the other winners here.
If you would like to discuss opportunities for innovation in agri-food you can contact KTN’s Agri-Food Team.
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