AeroFarms begins construction on R&D facility in Abu Dhabi

AeroFarms, the Newark-based indoor vertical farming pioneer, has begun construction on a research center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, it announced Thursday.

The company’s UAE subsidiary, AeroFarms AgX Ltd., will create a 54,000-square-foot vertical farm focused on research & development for indoor vertical farming, innovation and agriculture technology. It is working in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, which is providing $150 million in incentives for global agtech pioneers to come to Abu Dhabi, including AeroFarms.

The new facility, the largest such farm dedicated to R&D worldwide, is expected to be complete and operational in the first quarter of 2022.

“This is an important development for AeroFarms as we expand globally and leverage our R&D and growing expertise,” AeroFarms co-founder and CEO David Rosenberg said in a prepared statement. “AeroFarms has been the global leader for controlled environment agriculture since 2004, and we will utilize this cutting-edge R&D center to conduct the latest research in plant science, vertical farming and automation, accelerating innovation cycles and commercializing products.

“Our vision has always been to leverage our expertise in plant biology and build on our successful history of collaborating with government, universities, industry and major international companies. We are pleased to take this step forward and proud to be a catalyst for helping to establish the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a global hub for agtech innovation.”