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Vertical Farming Forum – “SMART Green Growth”

Vertical Farming Forum

The Vertical Farming Forum will focus on the next steps for UK farming post-Brexit and aims to create a revolutionary vision for “Smart Green Growth”. We will bring together policymakers, industrialists and scientists to discuss and ideate strategies to lower barriers and promote the scale-up and wide adoption of vertical farming.

  • From: Friday 12 April 2019, 10.30 am
  • To: Friday 12 April 2019, 3 pm
  • Registration: 10.30 am
  • Location: Nottingham Trent University, Brackenhurst Campus, Southwell, Nottingham, NG25 0QF
  • Booking deadline: Wednesday 10 April 2019, 12.00 am
  • Download this event to your calendar

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Event details


Guest Speakers

Dr Rhydian Beynon-Davies: Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC)

Rhydian’s interests are in the research, development, optimisation and commercialisation of vertical urban agricultural production systems, especially with respect to the interaction of the light, rootzone and aerial environments in hydroponic systems. In addition Rhydian is interested in the integration of sustainable technologies within these systems, for example the novel use of waste-stream products in hydroponic systems, low-cost automation technologies, improving system efficacy and development of plant response models. Rhydian is currently managing projects for both commercial and public bodies related to characterizing plant growth and development in response to light quality, nutrient and water management and precision pest and disease control and (re)joined STC in June 2018.

Ian Cox: Innovation Lead, AgriTech Centres at Innovate UK

Ian joined Innovate UK in March 2015 and has led the roll out of an £90 million capital programme developing four Centre’s for Agricultural Innovation as part of the UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies to deliver applied research to solve industry problems. Ian also leads on developing agri-tech relationships with China for Innovate UK after signing an MoU with the China Rural Technology Development Centre in November 2016.  Before joining Innovate UK, Ian worked at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), a Government Science Agency, in a variety of roles and previously has held senior positions in environmental consultancy and the water industry.

Olivia O’Brien: Business Development Director, Growing Underground

Olivia O’Brien joined Growing Underground in early 2016. Through her years at GU she has touched all areas of the business, and has helped steer the trajectory of the business through its stages of growth. She forms part of the senior executive team responsible for the strategic direction of the company. With experience in non-profit management, Olivia was previously based in New York managing the Aspen Institute’s New York City public programming and engagement. Olivia is delighted that through Growing Underground she is part of the evolving agricultural industry and its steps towards sustainability.


10.30 Registration and welcome refreshments
11.00 Opening: Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Nigel Wright
11.05 Dean of the School for Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Rob Mortimer - Setting the Scene and Potential for Vertical Farming
11.15 Ian Cox, Innovation Lead, Agri-Tech Centres, UKRI: National and International Agrifood Challenges
11.25 Dr Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Head of Novel Growing Systems, Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC):  The Potential for Vertical Farming and Barriers to Adoption
11.35 Olivia O’Brien, Head of Operations, Zero Carbon Foods: The Commercial Challenges  of Vertical Farming
11.45 Professor Chungui Lu, Nottingham Trent University: The Science Behind Vertical Farming Solutions

Open Forum Discussion on

  1. How Do We Improve the Adoption of Vertical Farming?
  2. What Does the Future Generation of Vertical Farming Look Like? What Are the Challenges?
13.00 Lunch
13.30 Tour of Vertical Farm
14.30 Plenary and agreed actions
15.00 Close

Booking information

This event is free to attend. To book your place, click the Reserve your place button at the top of the page.

Location details


Nottingham Trent University
Brackenhurst Campus
NG25 0QF


Should you require a parking space, please email the Events Team to confirm your car registration as soon as possible.

Travel Info:

Visit our main campus page for directions and transport information.

Past event

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