BrightFarms Forms Research and Development Innovation Hub BrightLabs; Steve Platt and Matt Lingard Comment
IRVINGTON, NY - A new launch and a new leader? Tell me more! These are just a couple of the titillating details included in BrightFarms’ most recent announcement. The indoor greens grower has formed a new research and development (R&D) hub called BrightLabs at its Ohio growing facility. Matt Lingard, PhD, a former Bayer plant scientist with over 15 years of experience in biotechnology and greenhouse science, will be leading the BrightLabs team as Vice President of Agriculture and Science.
“The indoor farming industry is at an inflection point as local, indoor-farmed produce becomes a priority for retailers and consumers. Among competitors, we’ve developed the most profitable model for the production of indoor leafy greens, but it’s essential that we maintain our market advantage to stay ahead of the curve,” said Steve Platt, Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve built up a team of the best minds in indoor agriculture to officially launch BrightLabs, where we’ll develop the next phase of game-changing products and technology solutions for our operations.”
BrightLabs places a key focus on developing proprietary and patented ecosystems for plants to thrive, increasing their flavor, yields, and texture in the process. The team will bring together experts in technology, microbiology, and plant science to deliver breakthrough innovations in the salad category and beyond.
This multi-million dollar R&D investment is launching as part of the company’s $100 million Series E Fundraise led by Cox Enterprises, and represents a significant increase in the company’s research capabilities. Ten percent of the company is now dedicated to developing complex, patented growing solutions to be applied to BrightFarms’ burgeoning network of greenhouses.
“No other indoor farming company is studying a plant’s microbiome, the naturally occurring bacteria that help determine its health, to the same degree that we are,” said Lingard. “Instead of pouring dollars into artificial lighting research, we’re developing cutting-edge biotechnology solutions to out-maneuver our competition with the most productive indoor farms in the industry. There’s no question that high-tech greenhouses that leverage natural sunshine have emerged as the most promising new generation of agriculture technologies, and optimizing the microbiome will allow us to unlock even more of a plant’s natural potential in our indoor farms.”
BrightLabs aims to double its production of its hydroponically grown spinach, and will build on the success of its best-selling Sunny Crunch variety with a new, antioxidant-rich lettuce, NutriGreens, set for release this June.
BrightOS, the company’s award-winning proprietary data system, will help the BrightLabs team accelerate their research with machine learning and advanced data analysis.
Stay tuned as we wait to see the incredible innovations to come.