digital farming solutions -smart grow lighting
Osram, in its quest to become the leading provider of intelligent plant growth solutions acquired Fluence Bioengineering, Inc. of Austin, Texas (May 8, 2018). Fluence was founded in 2013 and specializes in LED-based horticultural systems, using Osram LED chips, for a wide variety of applications including vertical farming, especially in urban areas.
Osram has increased its involvement in the horticulture sector over the last several years. The company has developed research and specialty luminaires that enable tailor-made light recipes to be controlled for specific plant types.
Increasing population and continued urbanization are intensifying the demand for fresh food, especially in densely populated cities around the world. To meet the needs of these areas, growers must tap the potential of greenhouses and vertical cultivation systems, utilizing smart lighting, sensor systems and artificial intelligence. In addition to growing healthy and tasty food, vertical farms reduce the need for long-distance transportation routes. They also lessen the need for pesticides, fertilizers and excessive water use, and ultimately reduce spoilage. These technologies, which also can be used for growers of medicinal plants, contribute to the goal of sustainable agriculture.
LED-based solutions from Fluence help growers meet their yield and sustainability goals by increasing harvests up to 25 percent, reducing energy costs by as much as 50 percent and, through the targeted use of light, improving the quality and nutritional content of plants. Approximately 40 percent of food is spoiled between the producer and the supermarket shelf, so there is an additional ecological aspect to benefit the smart farming approach.
“In the future, self-learning software algorithms will create and optimize digital plant models in order to cultivate tailor-made salads and herbs for platform partners such as supermarkets, online grocery shops and pharmaceutical companies,” Stefan Kampmann, CTO of OSRAM Licht AG.Kampmann said. “Fluence is opening the floodgates to a huge future market. Fluence’s extensive knowledge of the horticulture market and possible applications, combined with Osram’s expertise in lighting technologies, sensors and connectivity, will position us as a leading horticultural solutions provider.”