AeroFarms celebrates opening of the world’s largest R&D indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi

AeroFarms, the Newark-based world leader in indoor vertical farming, officially unveiled AeroFarms AgX, its newest cutting-edge indoor vertical farm, to the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East.

AeroFarms AgX is playing a key role in Abu Dhabi’s agtech ecosystem by working with local companies and universities on research projects to tackle problems of agriculture within desert and arid climates.

To help address broader global agriculture supply chain challenges, the newest 65,000-square-foot, state-of-the art research & development indoor vertical farm is focused on the latest developments for indoor vertical farming, innovation and agtech. The facility is supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office as part of its goal to create sustainable investment opportunities to further next-generation agriculture in arid and desert environments.

About AeroFarms AgX

  • At 65,000 square feet, AeroFarms AgX is the largest indoor vertical farm of its kind for research & development in the world.
  • With the support of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, AeroFarms AgX will advance next-generation agriculture in arid and desert environments.
  • AeroFarms signed a new collaboration agreement with Silal to focus on R&D to commercialize new crops like tomatoes and peppers.

AeroFarms AgX has already made several key hires locally and will employ over 60 highly skilled engineers, horticulturists and scientists for its high-tech laboratories conducting organoleptic research and precision phenotyping, phytochemical analysis, as well as research on next-generation machine vision, machine learning, robotics and automation.

The ribbon-cutting and grand opening began with a keynote address by Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment, included a collaboration agreement signing with Silal, and concluded with an inaugural “first bite” of greens, led by David Rosenberg, co-founder and CEO of AeroFarms, and a tour of the leading R&D projects happening at AeroFarms AgX.

David Rosenberg. (AeroFarms)

“AeroFarms has been expanding globally for both our commercial and R&D indoor vertical farms, leveraging our growing expertise and proprietary technology platform that can help solve a broader array of agricultural challenges,” Rosenberg said. “We are incredibly proud of the amazing international turnout and support at the highest levels for our grand opening of AeroFarms AgX, and our ongoing partnership with ADIO reflects our bigger commitment to help transform agriculture, accelerate innovating cycles and commercialize new products for the region and the world.”

One of the goals for AeroFarms AgX is to be a hub of innovation, bringing together key strategic partners like Cargill and Foundation for Food & Agriculture Precision Indoor Plants Consortium for R&D collaboration. To this end, AeroFarms signed a formal collaboration agreement with Silal, advancing earlier exploratory work under a Memorandum of Understanding.

Rosenberg and Salmeen Obaid Alameri, CEO of Silal, participated in the signing ceremony. The collaboration is expected to focus on improving the genetics and seedling quality of vegetable and fruit varieties to become more resilient and tolerant to extreme growing conditions.

The partnership will also focus on evaluating and testing crops that have large consumer demand, including tomatoes and peppers. The trials and experiments on the crops will be conducted at AeroFarms AgX.

Alameri said this collaboration with AeroFarms marks a milestone in developing an ecosystem for agritech innovation towards effective long-term agriculture practices in Abu Dhabi.