Singapore funds Signify for online horticultural center

Nov. 29, 2021
Growers can tap into insights on vertical and greenhouse farming, and not just for lighting. It’s part of the country’s push to reduce food imports.

As part of its initiative to reduce reliance on imported food, the government of Singapore is subsidizing Signify to run an online horticultural knowledge center intended to help growers build vertical farms and greenhouses.

The Signify Centre of Excellence for Horticulture will offer insights not only on lighting, but also on other aspects of plant science as well as on climate control and engineering.

Signify is drawing on expertise at its two physical research centers in Holland the GrowWise Center in Eindhoven, and BrightBox in Venlo, including around 150 different light recipes. It aims to help growers in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia to improve crop yields and quality, including taste and nutrition.

LEDs Magazine is awaiting clarification from Singapore on whether growers need to pay for access to the information. Whether or not the center generates revenue directly, Signify hopes to gain business benefits through greater exposure to the Asian market for horticultural lighting.

Part of the funding comes from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), an agency within the Ministry of Trade and Industry. A Signify spokesperson declined to elaborate on the amount.

Singapore, an island nation, imports the majority of its food. It has established a plan that it calls “30 by 30” in which it aims to produce 30% of its nutritional needs, in a sustainable manner, by 2030.

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“Signify's Centre of Excellence for Horticulture will play an important role in helping Singapore achieve its 30 by 30food security goal through its partnerships with local institutes and urban farms,” said EDB executive vice president Damian Chan. “We look forward to working with Signify to grow Singapore into a leading hub where innovative agri-food tech solutions can be developed and commercialized to sustainably feed the world.”

The Signify spokesperson said the company is in the process of lining up local experts and academic partners to be part of the center.

MARK HALPER  is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.