A Scottish agritech firm that grows crops in vertically stacked indoors columns to save space, energy and water is set to expand its operations into North America.
Intelligent Growth Solutions has selected Loveland, Colorado, for its US trading base, creating over 100 jobs, as it bids to get a foothold in a growing international market.
The Edinburgh-headquartered firm designs, produces and maintains vertical farming technology that enables indoor growing anywhere, eliminates the need for pesticides or fungicides and reduces water consumption by up to 95 per cent.
Because no arable land is required, these systems can also be used to reduce the carbon footprint of food production by locating farms closer to the point of consumption or production.
Opening a base of operations in Loveland will allow the company to better support North American customers, the company’s fastest-growing market.
“IGS’ technology, mission and people are a perfect fit for the ag-tech ecosystem that continues to flourish across our region and in Loveland,” said City of Loveland economic development director, Kelly Jones.
“Northern Colorado provides tremendous value to a diverse range of industries and we are proud of this truly collaborative, regional effort to bring this innovative company, as well as high paying jobs, to the area.”
“The forward-looking approach to economic development within the city of Loveland and the state of Colorado fits perfectly with Intelligent Growth Solutions’ purpose of working with growers to help deliver sustainable food security,” said David Farquhar, CEO of IGS.
“The location is within easy reach of a huge market as well as supply chain partners and is a great place for our people – and their families – to live, with 300 days of sunshine and just 30 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.
“The location of our North American headquarters is a pivotal decision in our evolution as market leader. We are confident that our new Loveland base will allow our rapidly growing business to continue to expand and thrive on a global platform, as we deliver vertical farming infrastructure to enable real farmers to grow an expanding range of crops reliably, profitably and sustainably because we give them total control of the weather for the first time: designed in Scotland manufactured in Colorado.”
The company also chose Loveland for the strong, skilled labour pool. Overall, IGS expects to create 114 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $98,991 (£83,807), which is 183 per cent of the average annual wage in Larimer County. Positions will include engineers, supply chain managers, human resource and legal managers, as well as roles in marketing and sales.
“Innovative companies like IGS are building on Colorado’s strong agricultural heritage to create a future-thinking ag tech industry that will feed communities and support a thriving economy across our state. We are pleased to see Loveland become IGS’s North American headquarters and look forward to celebrating future accomplishments,” said Patrick Meyers, OEDIT executive director.
“We are delighted to welcome Intelligent Growth Solutions to Loveland as they establish their base of operations. Their innovative technology, environmentally-focused mission and talented people are a perfect fit for the community,” said Jacki Marsh, mayor of Loveland.
The State of Colorado will provide up to $2,758,845 in performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits to IGS. The company currently has 220 employees, one of whom is already based in Colorado. In addition to Colorado, the company considered Washington and Massachusetts.