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Aug 18, 2015 11:58 EST

Evogro: make indoor plant growing systems for chefs – making it easy to grow perfect microgreens, salad leaves and herbs

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 18, 2015

Evogro

Evogro

The Idea

SUMMARY

Evogro makes Indoor Plant Growing Systems for Chefs. We make it easy for our customers to grow their own perfect microgreens, salad leaves and herbs. The plants are grown in optimal conditions and can be picked just when needed so that they are absolutely fresh and full of flavour. 

The Evogro system combines internet-connected growing cabinets with intelligent software services so non-experts can get great, consistent results with a minimum of time and effort. This is an advanced application of Internet of Things technologies that solves a complex problem.

Evogro offers customers a complete hassle-free package including cabinets, ongoing services and consumables. Our business model drives recurring revenue with long term-contracts.

By growing at the place of consumption, we seek to disrupt the conventional grow/pack/ship supply chain with superior economics and unbeatable freshness. We are selling now to restaurants & hotels and already have some top chefs as customers. The professional market is our immediate focus but we believe there is a huge potential opportunity with domestic consumers.

Evogro is based in Kent at the East Malling Research campus, one of the leading horticultural research institutes in the UK.

BENEFITS

Quality

The most important benefit of our system is the quality of the plants it produces and our customers tell us they are better than what they could otherwise buy. We’re able to optimize the growing conditions for each crop so we get strong and healthy plants, and because they are happily living in the cabinet they only need to be cut just when they are needed, so they are absolutely fresh.

Simplicity

Growing top quality plants normally takes time, skill and know-how but by using intelligent technology we’ve made it simple for non-experts to get great results with a minimum of effort. We monitor our customers’ plants and send specific just-in-time instructions which maximises the productivity and reliability of the system.

Sustainability

By growing right in the kitchen, we reduce the transportation, storage, packaging & waste associated with the fresh produce chain. Lettuce and Leafy Salad is inherently perishable and is the most wasted category of food in the home with 43% being thrown away. 

TECHNOLOGY

The Evogro system has three key technology components:

Cabinet

The Cabinet creates a controlled environment that enables plants to be grown from seed to harvest. It uses advanced horticultural LED lighting & hydroponics to grow the plants. The LEDs provide the specific light required for plant growth which is strong in the red & blue spectrum so it looks pink to human eyes. LEDs offer significant advantages including long-lifetime and up to 75% energy savings vs fluorescent lights. 

Different crops have different lighting requirements and our Active Spectrum Management technology is designed to allow us to control the intensity & duration of each wavelength so we can optimise the settings for each crop & growth stage: giving the plants just what they need and not wasting any energy. Each shelf is an independently configurable zone so multiple plant types, with differing requirements and at different growth stages, can be grown in a single cabinet.

The cabinet includes a number of sensors for monitoring the environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, moisture and fluid levels) & up to 32 cameras that regularly photograph the plants. The cabinet is connected to the internet and exchanges data with our software services in the cloud.

Cloud

In the Cloud, we collect the data from the cabinets and we use software to analyse the conditions and the crops’ progress against our models. These models are growing recipes (sequences of environmental settings that take a crop from seed to harvest) and so far we have developed recipes for over 100 varieties. Once the data is analysed, the Cabinet is then programmed automatically without the Customer needing to take any action.

App

The Evogro App provides the interface to our Customers. It enables them to track their crops’ progress, to browse the Crop Library and manage their Grow Plan. It sends notifications & instructions when there are jobs to be done and the customer ticks the jobs once completed. The App works on phone, tablet & PC.

Contact Information:

Jason Hirst
Paul Adams

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