Start-up has bags of potential

Engineer and inventor Adam Dixon.
Engineer and inventor Adam Dixon.

Phytoponics, a start-up company led by engineer and inventor Adam Dixon and a small team consisting of former Woldgate School and Bishop Burton students, is paving the way for an agricultural revolution.

Adam, 25, an engineering graduate of Cardiff University, first became aware of a problem to solve as a student.

The Phytoponics system.

The Phytoponics system.

The question that inspired his research into hydroponics market was: “land is at a premium in many places and due to global warming will become more so. So why is it used so ineffectively?”

Hydroponics is a manner of farming using water in a soil-less environment – in this case using water.

By using Phytoponics’ invention (an inflatable water holding grow bag) farmers can easily control growing conditions reducing running costs and wastage significantly.

Hydroponics uses 10 times less land and water than conventional growing techniques while also hugely increasing the crop yield.

The Phytoponics system is billed as unique in its flexibility, adaptability and price value.

The system effectively increases production of fruit and salad growers, while minimising the amount of land used, an obvious focus of today’s agricultural sector.

A spokesman said: “While trials in Thirsk and in Europe are underway, the interest and support from both national and international farms is a very promising indicator of success.

“Now based in Cardiff, the Yorkshire-rooted company represents the best of British innovation in commercial horticulture, committed to propelling the UK into a world leader of home grown food production technology. Phytoponics has raised a seed investment round, which will open in mid-July, yet Phytoponics has already had commitment for 50% of this from a major investor, a further £200,000 is required to fill the full £650k fundraising.

“As a promise of yet to come Phytoponics was honoured to receive an innovation award at the Bridlington and Yorkshire Coast Business awards.

“This exciting project sees the potential of helping Yorkshire and the rest of the UK to be self-sufficient growers of produce through this technology, a huge leap forward for the British growers and the economy as a whole.”