The GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture is located in the heart of Kent, at NIAB site in East Malling, Kent. It provides the UK horticulture and viticulture industry with access to a state-of-the-art research facility, including almost 2,000m2 of specialist glasshouses, 14 modern polytunnels, growth rooms and cold rooms. A Wine Innovation Centre and Research Winery will also be available.
Plant growth and management is provided by NIAB's experienced team of horticultural husbandry staff, working in consultation with leading crop research scientists.
The future of sustainable horticultural research
The GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture will help find solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing growers and food producers. From developing more sustainable crop production systems, to reducing waste and implementing efficient use of resources including water, nutrients and light. By incorporating technology used by the most advanced commercial growers, our scientists will accurately demonstrate solutions the industry can adopt.
The specialist glasshouses, high-tech growth rooms and modern polytunnels complement NIAB’s existing facilities, including:
- extensive laboratory facilities;
- field plantings of major horticultural crops;
- demonstration plantings to showcase the latest technologies and growing systems.
The Hub has been built using the latest environmental technologies:
- solar PV;
- rainwater harvesting;
- air-source heat pumps;
- an energy dashboard for growth rooms and cold stores.
A modern meeting room with AV support is available for hire. The atrium, with stunning views across the vineyard, is a flexible space suitable for a range of events.
Installed to reflect modern glasshouse facilities, featuring:
- 1,928m² of glasshouses with compartments ranging from 24-352m²;
- nine climate-controlled compartments with heating and cooling facilities;
- HPS and LED lighting available;
- irrigation: Misting, drip and hand watering facilities;
- moveable benches with ebb and flow tops;
- insect-proofed netted compartments and lockable zones for high-risk pest and pathogen research;
- all facilities installed to reflect modern commercial glasshouse facilities.
Polytunnels and growth rooms
The Hub has 14 modern polytunnels (totalling 1,960m²) with easy washdown to maintain high levels of biosecurity.ing, product development and packaging challenges.
Plant growth rooms
- seven independently-controlled environmental growth rooms, from 10m² to 20m²;
- temperature controls from 15°C to 38°C;
- high-tech humidity control for uniform environments;
- a vernalisation chamber with ranges from 4°C to 21°C;
- containment level 2 growth rooms which are suitable for licenced pathogen work;
- broad-spectrum LED plant growth lighting (500-800 μmols/m²/s), allowing for deep light penetration in dense crops.
Cold rooms and laboratory area
The Hub has 35m² and 43m² cold rooms, with full temperature control of -2°C to +4°C alongside a fully equipped laboratory space for sample preparation and processing.
Wine Innovation Centre and Research Winery
Coming soon! A 260m² research winery, including:
- fermentation area;
- temperature controlled cellar;
- pressing room;
- laboratory area.