In a bid to consistently innovative smart farming solutions in the region, N.THING, the multi-award-winning Seoul-based agritech company, together with Smart Acres, the UAE’s latest vertical farm, have officially announced their latest addition, a Research and Development (R&D) project with ten 40ft containers in Abu Dhabi, dedicated to launching nutritionally-enhanced functional crops to the UAE.
By introducing functional crops, N.THING’s latest R&D unit, will not only provide additional health benefits to residents across the UAE, but they also hold an ability to control the nutrients of crops in the growing process to become enriched and improved with antioxidant properties. The unit, located in the PoC farm site Abu Dhabi, will enable an extensive product portfolio and achieve crop improvement by producing higher yields and enhancing nutritional quality. At present, four of N.THING’s research experts are working to develop an optimized solution for each crop utilizing dedicated OS software and hardware settings. The unit is fully equipped with specific lighting and ventilation, for optimal crop growth, aiming not only for specialties and texture but taste and weight. Achieving a highly automated farm solution and localized crop, the CUBES OS can be controlled either by mobile or touchpad.
Through the use of biotechnology, N.THING is committed to reinvesting and focusing its efforts in implementing R&D technology to build a long-term and sustainable partnership within the UAE to enhance the overall food security and introduce nutritionally-enhanced crops. In collaboration with Smart Acres, the R&D unit will focus on developing crops with enhanced nutritional qualities, particularly for patients with severe diabetes, heart conditions, and kidney disease.
Since its inception, Smart Acres has successfully produced a line of fresh, most nutrient-dense greens for UAE residents and businesses alike, and in recent months it has successfully dominated its system of cultivating and harvesting mature species of lettuce, exceeding industry-targeted weights for vertical farming, a rare achievement amongst all vertical farms in the GCC region. Additionally, the new R&D function aims to develop recipes for various types of crops such as low-potassium, low nitrate lettuce, and is being developed through cultivation tests. Due to changes in color or texture in the growing process, coupled with halted growth, plant death, or dark spot appearances, red lettuce would generally prove as a challenge to produce, however, to counter this, N.THING has swiftly adopted controlled environment chambers with robust LED light technology to successfully grow healthy and nutritious lettuce.
The MENA Regional Manager of N.THING, Harin Song, shared, “We are delighted to be the first agritech company to develop functional crops in the UAE. Our advanced technology will enable the highest flavor and nutritional content of crops, while reducing the transportation miles, time, and extended shelf life. We are happy to launch our first R&D with Smart Acres to continue our mission to improve food security in the UAE.”
N.THING formally launched operations in the UAE in 2020 after successfully completing its PoC (proof of concept) in Abu Dhabi in partnership with Smart Acres, with the mission to improve food security, develop the country’s farming capabilities, and provide a solution to potential socioeconomic threats such as the pandemic and climate limitations that the Middle East may experience. Founded with a purpose, N.THING aims to innovate and adapt the agricultural industry consistently and strives to feed the world using IoT technology.
Not only will the region now have access to a wide range of nutritionally-advanced crops, but N.THING’s R&D unit is expected to contribute to the long-term goal of achieving food security across the region.