SCOTTISH agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions has unveiled its first indoor vertical farming demonstration facility, featuring its patented power and communications technologies, as it eyes export business and job creation.

.IGS, presenting the facility featuring its technology and vertically-stacked layers of produce at the James Hutton Institute in Perthshire, highlighted the potential for its work to create about 150 jobs by 2021 in areas such as software, data, engineering, robotics and automation.

Kate Forster, head of marketing at IGS, said: “The 150 jobs will be created both within IGS and its direct supply-chain partners. This figure includes jobs both within Scotland and internationally.”

IGS, established in 2013 with a vision of delivering commercial viability to vertical farming, noted this model offered “huge reductions in water wastage, the elimination of the use of pesticides and a huge reduction in food miles”.

It added that vertical farming enabled produce to be grown locally and on demand, which could “reduce fresh food waste by up to 90 per cent”.

IGS declared its technology enabled energy use to be cut by 50 per cent and labour costs to be reduced by 80% when compared with other indoor-growing environments.

The business, which highlighted the export potential of its technology, added: “Fundamental barriers of cost of power and labour have inhibited the sector’s expansion to date, as well as the inability to produce consistent and quality produce at scale.”

IGS said: “With global market growth predicted at 24% [per annum] over the next three years, the opportunities for IGS are substantial, with over 95% of its technology solutions expected to be exported.”

The business will not produce crops for sale, but will collaborate with growers, retailers and international organisations to deliver hardware and software.