IGS is a multi-award-winning global business, based in Scotland, which designs, supplies, and supports vertical farms for growers all around the world. It was founded in 2013 by a farmer and an engineer – addressing key challenges in the food industry with precision indoor agriculture.
Our system is modular, consisting of pairs of Growth Towers which come in 6m, 9m and 12m high variants and can grow a wide variety of crops including microgreens, herbs, salad leaves, brassicas, roots, fruits, botanicals (including edible flowers) and even tree seedlings.
Importantly, we are not commercial growers. We blend our engineering, crop science and agronomy skills to build the best technology to allow our customers (the growers) to succeed. Our customers may be existing or first-time growers and we don’t compete with them. Ultimately, our success is driven by enabling our customers to grow tasty, nutritious, additive-free and safe produce for the consumer using economically viable and environmentally sustainable methods.
In 2018 IGS opened its Crop Research Centre in Invergowrie, Scotland. In this environment, IGS uses Total Control Environment Agriculture (TCEA) to manage each stage of the growth cycle and all operational inputs. The software determines optimal recipes of weather and manages the operation of the farm: lighting, watering and ventilation as well as applying nutrition. Data is collected continuously and used to make iterative adjustments, all of which is monitored through a web-based app. The whole system is IOT-enabled to automate system control and management. Ease of use is at the heart of the mechanical design.
The IGS Crop Research Centre is based at the James Hutton Institute, a world-renowned crop and plant science research facility. IGS and the Hutton collaborate closely to help advance the understanding of plant science for growing in our vertical farms to impact certain qualities on the crop and improve economic performance.
IGS has customers on four continents of the world, who are supplying a wide variety of off- takers with a wide variety of crops. The off-takers include major international grocery retailers, hospitality & tourism, food manufacturers and contract catering. Non-food off- takers include forestry operations and perfume distillers.
Up to 2020, IGS had invested approximately £7m in R&D to ensure that its platform offers the greatest levels of control whilst achieving economic viability, scale and minimal environmental impact compared to other systems on the market. In 2019, IGS raised £7 million in institutional capital to enter production and take its systems to global markets. In November 2021, the business closed its Series B fundraise at £42.2 million. We continue to invest over £1m per annum in R&D.