Signify has entered into a strategic partnership with specialist supply company Plagron Professional and Light4Food, which develops indoor growing concepts. The partners jointly invest in research into integrated and variety-specific cultivation optimization and new cultivation concepts for legalized cannabis cultivation. The research program covers the entire production process, from propagation and cultivation to post-harvest technology.
The R&D-focused knowledge alliance has a test facility in the Netherlands specially equipped for cannabis, for which a permit has recently been granted. Although heavy investments are being made in legal cannabis cultivation worldwide, professional cultivation is still under development. The new consortium wants to collect data on a scientifically sound basis and develop new knowledge leading to better, more predictable cultivation results. The sharing of existing knowledge and expertise focused on current research questions will accelerate progress.
The partners each contribute their own unique knowledge and expertise: Signify as the world leader in lighting and LED technology, Plagron Professional as developer and producer of fertilizers, cultivation substrates, additives, and cultivation advice and Light4Food as an R&D company and turnkey supplier of indoor cultivation and climate systems. "The strength of this alliance lies in the integrated approach to cultivation optimization," says Udo van Slooten, business leader of Signify Horticulture LED solutions. "All three of us are used to serving the market on that basis. Within this alliance, our plant specialists work closely together with specialists from Light4Food and Plagron Professional. Applying research in our own modern test facility makes the whole more than the sum of its parts."
Clear added value
Marketing strategist Jan van Seventer of Plagron Professional endorses Van Slooten's words. "We see a clear added value in this alliance," he says. "Licensed cannabis producers need integrated solutions. Moreover, working together in R&D will also elevate our joint knowledge to a higher level.
Indoor cultivation concepts
Light4Food shares these high expectations. Over the past five years, the company has invested a great deal of time and energy into developing an indoor hydroponic growing system for leafy crops and herbs, which is now successfully being rolled out in North America on a turnkey basis. "Medical cannabis is a new market segment for us, but we have been developing indoor cultivation concepts for fifteen years," says managing director René van Haeff. "The collaboration with Signify and Plagron Professional gives us the confidence that we can make concrete progress quickly. After a short trial cultivation to adjust the hardware and software for lighting, irrigation, and climate control, we are ready to carry out the research on a continuous basis."
LED toplighting and interlighting
The research should, among other things, provide more knowledge about the specific lighting needs of cannabis varieties in the different cultivation phases. The climate chamber is equipped with Philips GreenPower LED toplighting compact fixtures and the GrowWise control system so that the intensity of the white grow light can be adjusted as required. Half of the cultivation tables are equipped with LED interlighting in order to determine the added value of inter-canopy lighting as well. In combination with other optimization aspects of cultivation, ranging from climate settings and watering to fertilization and biostimulants, this will result in well-founded cultivation concepts and strategies that offer tailor-made solutions for customers.
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