Controlled Environmental Growing System
Smart Agriculture Cornwall is a Good Growth-funded project that aims to develop, install and run key agri-food technology using Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) at three sites: The University of Plymouth, Phytome and Rosewarne (Duchy College)
Indoor Controlled Environment Agriculture is 15-30 times more productive than traditional agricultural methods, with CEA producing an increased output by using indoor vertical farming, which offers efficient, productive, and precision-controlled cultivation to grow high-value crops and food products. The key benefits of this being an increase in yield, nutritional value, or medicinal compounds, in a minimal space. CEA also offers a move away from low-paid traditional agriculture to high-value skilled positions, significantly increasing productivity and real living wage.
The Controlled Environment Agriculture technology installed by the Smart Agriculture Cornwall team will include state-of-the-art molecular sensors, automation and robotics both at Phytome and Rosewarne while enhancing the Plant Factory the University of Plymouth as a commercial research & demo site.

Our Centres

University of Plymouth Plant Factory

At the University of Plymouth, Smart Agriculture Cornwall will work to upgrade the award-winning Controlled Environment Agriculture Plant Factory to develop specialist Smart-Agriculture technological Research Development & Innovation for Cornish agricultural-food businesses, including Riviera Produce and Grown That Way/Battling On. 
Plant Factory will also work with environmental charities such as Heligan, the Eden Project and The National Trust to help cultivate and protect endangered plant species including wild flower, hay and water meadow species to promote biodiversity on farm. Phytome's LED lighting expertise will further enhance the Plant Factory’s impacts across Cornwall.

Phytome Research Lab

The Smart Agriculture Cornwall project will expand and enhance Phytome's world-class Controlled Environmental Agriculture facility in Truro
Controlled LED-lighting and hydroponics across the site enable automated indoor crop growth to cultivate valuable phytochemicals. This facilitates rapidly testing light combinations and increases test volumes for Phytome's industry clients. the facility builds on a vibrant Cornish agri-tech sector allowing clients access to economical and sustainable ways of producing plants/plant-derived chemicals at industrial scale.


At Rosewarne, the technology installed by Smart Agriculture Cornwall will help maintain the Visitor Economy through strategic partnerships with gardens, such as the Eden Project and Heligan, which act as a tourism attraction both in and out of season, specifically spring time. This will build on the strong botanical/ornamental garden heritage that substantially contributes to Cornwall & Island of Scilly's tourism and agricultural sectors.
Many plant species have been imported and cultivated over the last two centuries, with potential medicinal properties yet to be discovered. Controlled Environmental Agriculture can help cultivate ornamental plants far quicker and more successfully than current propagation methods allow; this is specifically important for many of rare and endangered plant species located in many of the gardens across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. There is the possibility that many Cornish gardens and commercial nurseries will have their own CEA unit on site in the near future and Smart Agriculture Cornwall will help to provide skilled labour to build and operate these systems.
To achieve this we will work with Rosewarne to upgrade several greenhouses at their Camborne site with cutting-edge technology for commercial research, innovation and development, demonstration and training. Semi-controlled hydroponics and LED lighting will resurrect it as an active Vertical Farming scale-up and grow-on environment, enabling plant cultivation under different growing conditions and increased size/yield. This will also provide a platform to demonstrate and trial new technologies and crop varieties.
Close up of a plant in the Plant Factory with LEDs
Testing oil samples
Plant factory basil under LED lights

Grown That Way

This video explores some of the work already underway with one of our business assists, Grown That Way. Kenny Wilding-Raybould, the director and project leader of the charity, explains how the adoption of agri-tech has enabled them to understand their land, pinpointing areas with challenges such as nutrient run off, plant health issues and compaction.
Kenny also discusses how he hopes to see communities engaging with agri-tech to create new jobs, new access and new possibilities in the horticultural sector, to enhance growing experience and lead to more effective approaches.
Jake Shaw-Sutton demonstrates the argi-tech available, including robot dogs, drones and robotic traction unit. 

The Centre of Research excellence in Intelligent and Sustainable Productive Systems (CRISPS) 

The Centre of Research excellence in Intelligent and Sustainable Productive Systems (CRISPS) brings together a vibrant community of transdisciplinary researchers, working towards addressing the challenge of sustainably feeding a global population of 9 billion. Founded upon research excellence in aquaculture, agricultural technology and soil health, and underpinned by investment in cutting-edge facilities, the Centre will create the critical mass required to ensure impactful research and real-world deployment in the UK and beyond.
Centre of Research excellence in Intelligent and Sustainable Productive Systems (CRISPS) hero