General newsWednesday, September 8, 2021

Class above the rest: IGS to develop academic partnership outreach with appointment of Chris Horne

Edinburgh-headquartered agritech innovator, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has welcomed entrepreneurial agribusiness operator, Chris Horne, to its team.  

Chris joins to offer strategic insight and consultancy as IGS ramps up its commitment to research and development of vertical farming for the benefit of growers and their customers. This will cover three key pillars: the vertical farming system; plant science; and agronomy.  

His role will include global outreach to universities and academic institutes to establish meaningful partnerships designed to further understandings of how crops respond to being grown in controlled indoor environments.  

Across a career spanning more than 20 years, Chris has a wealth of experience working in a range of marketing, product development and management roles in major agribusinesses – including UK, European, Asia-Pacific and global positions. Most recently, Chris spent two years contracted to the UK’s Department of International Trade’s (DIT) Agri-Tech team, supporting overseas companies and investors to do business in the UK and British-based companies to export around the world.

Commenting on his decision to join IGS, Chris said: “Through my role with the DIT, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of vertical farming technology companies and growers, both in the UK and overseas. Despite the sector being so young, the pace of development is truly exceptional and nowhere have I seen this more clearly than at IGS.

Not only has the company impressed me with its vision and people, it is also clear that they have developed a system with a clear and coherent aim in mind – and one that is both impressively engineered but also practical for real world growers. Not only has the system been designed with sustainability at its heart, but it has also met the crucial aim of enabling customers to establish profitable businesses. When the opportunity to work with IGS came along, I absolutely leapt at the chance.”

CEO of IGS, David Farquhar, added: “Bringing Chris onboard is a key milestone for IGS and marks a clear line in the sand as we transition from a start-up company with a good idea to a global business deploying technology that can truly make a difference. This cannot be delivered by us in isolation, however, and we hope that Chris’ depth of industry knowledge will help us to establish stronger partnerships with academics and research organisations across the world.  

“We have already proven the enormous value of relationships like this, thanks to our long-standing association with the James Hutton Institute here in Scotland, and we’re confident that this approach will allow us to harness some of the very best minds and enable us to further optimise indoor growing.”

If you would like to speak with Chris or find out more about academic and research partnership opportunities with IGS, please contact him.

Written by

Georgia Lea

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