Albotherm awarded £500k innovate UK grant to scale smart shade coating for commercial greenhouses
Albotherm, a leading advanced materials startup in AgriTech and Construction, has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK to spearhead a groundbreaking project in collaboration with Pilkington, Flavourfresh and Vitacress.
Albotherm has developed a Smart shade coating that is transparent in cold weather and automatically converts to opaque in hot weather providing on-demand shade, optimizing crop growing conditions and reducing solar overheating.
Albotherm’s technology supports the planet’s need to produce 50% more food by 2050 to feed a global population reaching nearly 10 billion. The need for this technology is also vital due to decreased available arable land by 30% over the last 40 Years. Our changing climate also brings more unpredictable weather conditions, causing crop stress which can result in a 25% yield decrease.
Commenced in May 2023, this project has received funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The goal is to address the pressing need for sustainable solutions in the horticulture sector by maximizing energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact.
The project aims to develop and test Albotherm’s innovative smart coatings, with a focus on the optimization and scale-up of their retrofit temperature-responsive shade coating for commercial greenhouses. Initial testing is scheduled to commence in Spring 2024 in partnership with Flavourfresh and Vitacress, two of the UK’s leading soft fruit and culinary herb growers, with commercial-scale crop trials.
Albotherm is partnering with world-leading glass manufacturer Pilkington to develop a glass coating for new greenhouse construction that can be produced using Pilkington’s large-area manufacturing processes. This new product will have a longer lifetime, maximize the environmental benefit of Albotherm’s technology and allow access to a wider market opportunity in industrial glazing.
For more information, contact Molly Allington, CEO, Albotherm Ltd, firstname.lastname@example.org