Signify and Republic Polytechnic collaborate to enhance local crop quality and shelf-life using smart lighting applications
Signify is collaborating with Republic Polytechnic (RP) on a project to extend the shelf-life and preserve the nutrients of fresh produce that will commence in January 2023. Both parties have come together with the commitment to advance the local agri-tech R&D ecosystem and address local food production challenges in support of Singapore’s “30 by 30” food security goal.
The project is one of five to recently secure funding from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) under the second grant call for R&D in “Sustainable Urban Food Production” in view of its potential as an innovative urban-agriculture project to increase the productivity of local food producers and other scaled-up opportunities. The other project partners are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Kalera Singapore Pte Ltd, and Singapore Agrotechnologies Pte Ltd.
Signify, and RP will work together with the above-mentioned project partners to explore using preharvest treatments such as LED lights and biostimulants to extend the shelf-life of local crops. They will tap into Signify’s knowledge of internal pathways and mechanisms of plants to enhance growth by selecting and applying preharvest treatments in a cost-effective manner. A multi-organizational and multi-disciplinary team will partner on the project so that growers can benefit from productive methods of growing crops and consumers can enjoy fresh and nutritious crops.
The joint work will be carried out within RP’s Agriculture Technology Innovation Lab, which will utilize Signify’s Philips GrowWise control system. Signify’s extensive research that demonstrates the positive impact of light quality and quantity on plant growth and RP’s expertise in hydroponics-based vertical farming will combine to develop methods for growing higher-quality Asian greens in higher yields.
The collaboration follows the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Signify Singapore and RP on 25 January 2022 to deepen collaborations in horticulture LED. Under the new MoU, Signify started to work with RP’s School of Applied Science in areas aligned with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Such areas include using horticulture LED lighting to support Singapore’s agri-food industry as well as health and wellness improvements using Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) lighting and sustainable technologies in the area of solar lighting.
The MoU signatories were Mr. Jitender Khurana, Country Head & Managing Director of Signify Singapore, and Mr. Soh Lai Seng, Director of the School of Engineering, RP.
“We are excited to commence three years of successful partnership with RP, a leading tertiary academic institution in Singapore, and to take our collaboration to another level with this MoU. Signify is committed to sharing our expertise in areas from LiFi to horticulture with RP and push the boundaries to bring more technological innovations to the market, to contribute to the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and the ‘30 by 30’ goal to strengthen the nation’s food resilience through sustainable methods,” said Mr. Khurana.
“This partnership further deepens RP’s collaboration with Signify and paves the way for our students to learn more about smart lighting applications and urban agriculture. Students will also be equipped with specialist knowledge through cutting-edge technologies that Signify is well-known for, as we nurture the next generation of high-tech professionals in support of greener infrastructure and a stronger agri-foodtech ecosystem,” said Mr. Soh.
The MoU signed in January represents a renewed commitment by Signify Singapore and RP to advance their joint work set out in the first three-year MoU signed in October 2018 with RP’s School of Engineering, when RP became the first Institute of Higher Learning in Singapore to adopt Signify’s LiFi technology.
Since 2018, significant progress has been made in the collaboration of LiFi, Internet of Things (IoT) smart lighting control, and automatic control of ambient lighting. Signify, and students from RP explored the latest smart lighting applications with industry partners, such as indoor positioning with the Enabling Village. In addition, Signify trained interns, collaborated on final-year projects, conducted talks, and hosted visits for RP.