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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Group of winners posing with their trophies

The Santander winners, courtesy Lambda Energy

Lambda Agri, a company embedded in Professor Dominic Wright’s research group, has received another prestigious award for its light-management technology that is used to increase crop yields.

Lambda Agri came in second at the Santander X Global Award finals held in Barcelona at the end of February. The competition had attracted more than 4000 entries from 11 countries. This success comes after a second place in the Santander X National Award last December, and after winning the RSC’s Emerging Technology Competition in the Energy category last July.

Lambda uses advanced optically active materials that change the spectral composition of the sunlight that is available to plants inside protected environments like greenhouses. The materials are blended into a paint and coated onto greenhouse sidings where they absorb UV light and convert it into a wavelength that is more “useful” for growing plants.

It was shown in field trials performed at Cranfield University last summer that Lambda's passive light management technology can increase crop yields by more than 9%. "Using a coated greenhouse to grow plants can increase crop yield without artificial lighting, reducing energy cost and improving food security," said Dr Boris Breiner, Chief Scientist Lambda Energy, who is currently a visitor in the Wright group.