The Herald:

Vertical farming specialist Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has signed a deal with Austrian-headquartered resort operator Therme to develop sustainable food systems at its wellbeing destinations around the world.

The announcement follows last week's news that Edinburgh-based IGS has raised £42.2 million from a consortium including new investors COFRA of Switzerland, Chicago-headquartered Cleveland Avenue, and DC Thomson based in Dundee. They joined existing institutional investors Ospraie Science of New York, Chicago's S2G Ventures, AgFunder of San Francisco, and Scottish Enterprise in the Series B investment round, with private shareholders and IGS staff also contributing.

Working with Therme RPC, Therme’s dedicated wellbeing food and nutrition business, IGS has developed a system to make locally-grown fresh produce available to the millions of guests that visit Therme’s locations every year. The produce grown will be used in Therme’s restaurants, bars, and skin products.

Based on "grand thermal bathing traditions", Therme operates resorts across Europe and is currently building its first UK retreat in Manchester at a cost of £250m. The company is also working on projects in Toronto and Germany, with additional locations to be announced in Scotland, Wales, England, the US and the Asia Pacific region.

The Herald:

“This innovative partnership marks a radical gear-shift for vertical farming, integrating it clearly into a sustainable lifestyle and wellbeing approach" IGS chief executive David Farquhar said. "The importance of nourishing and nurturing people through Therme IGE is a fantastic idea, combining the best of green technology and plant science as well as expert culinary and wellbeing expertise."

The Therme IGE system is expected to use 80% less water with 400% increased space efficiency when compard to traditional farming, making urban locations a viable option for large-scale food production.

There will be zero ‘food miles’ for the produce, which will initially include kale, rocket, basil and dill. It is said the 100% pesticide-free concept will result in enhanced flavours and nutrients, alongside an accelerated rate of plant growth.

"It is exciting to see how this can bring genuinely plant-based nutrition closer to consumers to improve sustainability and sustenance," Mr Farquhar added.

"The chance to announce this partnership at our exhibition at COP26 is one of the reasons we have chosen to be here. It is a prime example of why and how those producing, growing and utilising food can think and invest differently to bring environmentally and socially sustainable approaches to a global market.”

Firm that left Edinburgh for London eyes Cameroon development

The Herald:

OIL and gas firm Bowleven, which quit Scotland after a boardroom coup, has seen its shares fall 25 per cent as it faces challenges on a key project.

Bowleven has spent years working on plans to develop finds made off Cameroon without bringing any into production so far.

Seven-figure funding deal for technology to boost cattle conception rates

The Herald:

Biotech start-up Dyneval has secured more than £1.8 million in funding as it prepares to launch its first product at the start of next year.

A spin-out from the University of Edinburgh, Roslin-based Dyneval has developed portable technology that analyses cattle semen in a bid to boost conception rates, which have fallen by 20 per cent during the past four decades.