Funding Update & Strengthening of CEA Division

RNS Number : 6531B
Light Science Tech. Holdings PLC
15 February 2022

Light Science Technologies Holdings plc

("LSTH" or the "Company")


Innovate UK Funding to Develop Intelligent Grow-Lighting Cloche


Strengthening of CEA Division


Light Science Technologies Holdings plc (AIM: LST), the controlled environment agriculture ("CEA") technology and contract electronics manufacturing ("CEM") group, is pleased to provide an update on the previously announced funding grant of £503,000 from a key Government agency to its CEA division. The Company can now confirm that the grant was awarded by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, as part of its Farming Initiative Pathway (FIP) consortium for more sustainable and efficient plant growth in the UK agricultural sector, to develop the Company's intelligent LED grow-lighting cloche product.


The grow-lighting cloche is expected to be the first retrofittable, all-in-one lighting-sensing-automation rig designed for polytunnels and glasshouses - bringing sustainable, controlled environment technology to growers. The grow-light cloche will extend the growing season, enabling farmers to grow all year round as well as a wider variety of produce. The cloche will extend the existing Light Science Technologies' product range into new and larger markets. 


The solution aims to improve productivity by increasing yields from 2-3 yields, to 8+ yields, each year. It will also look to help growers by providing a possible solution to labour shortages, reducing the need for import substitution, harvesting machinery, pathogen infiltration and utilising UVC-lighting disease management. The initial potential UK market includes over 4,000 industrial growers, producing over 300 types of field-scale and protected vegetable and salad crops, and tree and berry fruits covering over 10 million m2 in the UK. The total market size for polytunnel in Europe is worth a potential £2.96 billion in 2022 with a predicted CAGR of 9.6% from 2021-281.


The solution is being developed as part of the previously announced contract and consortium between Light Science Technologies Ltd, Zenith Nurseries and Morrish Engineering Limited, which began in November 2021 with a potential value of up to £13.84 million*. The project is broken into four stages to prototype, develop and commercialise the offering over an estimated 21-month period. Once the prototype is complete, it will be tested within Zenith Nurseries' existing growing site over six months to validate the data.


Once developed, the grow-lighting cloche has the potential to generate both significant one-off hardware revenues and recurring revenues from growers, lasting up to 25 years through the deployment of data, upgrades, replacements, data analysis and in future AI. 


[1] Europe Indoor Farming Market Analysis And Segment Forecasts to 2017 to 2029: Grand View Research 


*  subject, inter alia, to certain milestones and conditions as more fully described in the Company's announcement on 15 October 2021.


Strengthening of CEA Team

LSTH is also pleased to announce two new appointments to the CEA team. Chuanching Foo joins the team as Senior Scientist, where she will take on full responsibility for the running and management of the CEA division's onsite lab facilities, where new crop testing is carried out. Chuanching will also be supporting the Company's ongoing efforts to improve the quality, flavour, and freshness of produce for CEA growers and farmers in polytunnel, glasshouse and vertical farming.

Additionally, Chris Shenton joins as National Account Manager, bringing 15 years' experience in some of the largest global lighting manufacturers to focus on supporting existing customers as well as expanding LSTH's client portfolio through the development of new business opportunities.


Simon Deacon, CEO of Light Science Technologies Holdings, said: "Due to the shorter growing seasons, unpredictable climatic conditions and heavy reliance on manual labour processes, the UK struggles to produce enough food to meet demand. We are delighted to have been selected for funding by Innovate UK, which is testament to the potential value of the cloche product in alleviating both these national issues and extending our routes to market. We look forward to keeping the market informed with developments as the Company capitalises on its growing number of routes to market.


" The new appointments further strengthen LST's strategic objectives in indoor farming and help build on the momentum we are currently experiencing. With their expertise, they will both help to develop and bring to market our award-winning technology to revolutionise agriculture and indoor growing."


For further information, please contact:


Light Science Technologies Holdings plc

Simon Deacon, Chief Executive Officer

Jim Snooks, Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Hempsall, Chief Operating Officer

via Walbrook PR



Strand Hanson Limited (Nominated & Financial Adviser)


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7409 3494

Ritchie Balmer / James Harris / Rob Patrick


Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Ltd (Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3657 0050

James Pope / Andy Thacker




Walbrook PR Ltd (Media & Investor Relations)


Tel: +44 (0)20 7933 8780 or

Nick Rome / Paul McManus / Nicholas Johnson



About Light Science Technologies Holdings plc ( )


Light Science Technologies Holdings plc is the holding company of the Group's controlled environment agriculture ("CEA") division, Light Science Technologies Ltd ("Light Science Technologies"), and its contract electronics manufacturing ("CEM") division, UK Circuits and Electronics Solutions Limited ("UK Circuits").


Controlled Environment Agriculture

Light Science Technologies was founded in 2019 and is the Company's grow lights and sensor technology business, providing bespoke recipes and technologies tailored to customers' needs - with key targets including indoor, vertical, glasshouses, polytunnels and medicinal farming markets. The all-in-one CEA solution will include analysing customers' crop growing requirements to provide bespoke, low-energy and sustainable equipment.


Market drivers include food and water shortages in many parts of the world; growing global population; UK and other government policy encouraging sustainable and efficient growth methods; increased scrutiny of the effect of food production on climate change and the continuing transition away from processed foods. 


Contract Electronics Manufacturing

UK Circuits is the Company's CEM focussed division, with strong revenue and cash generation. The Group designs, procures, and manufactures high-quality CEM products, specialising in Printed Circuit Boards, which are used in a range of sectors including audio, automotive, electronics, gas detection, lighting, pest control, telecommunications and, more recently, the CEA market.

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