· First Gateway of Zenith Contract now complete
· Early commencement of first phase of Gateway 4
· Increased value of UKRI Grant
Light Science Technologies Holdings plc (AIM: LST), the controlled environment agriculture (“CEA”) technology and contract electronics manufacturing (“CEM”) group, provides an update on progress on its contract with Zenith Nurseries Ltd (“Zenith Nurseries”) to develop a cloche lighting and sensor technology system.
The Company is pleased to announce that the project’s first milestone, Gateway 1 – to develop the cloche lighting system and demonstrate viability – is now complete, resulting in revenue of £51,000 for the Group.
Reordering of implementation programme
As further detailed in the Company’s Admission Document, the project is broken into four gateways which are specified to prototype, develop, and commercialise the offering. Following the success of Gateway 1, the customer has redefined its near-term priorities in response to ongoing energy and import conditions, and to increase focus on the lighting element of the rolling cloche. This will place further emphasis on growing more indoors, mitigating the impact of unpredictable and extreme weather conditions and climate change, with a view to increasing yields and extending the growing season.
Therefore, the project gateways have been re-ordered, bringing the first phase of Gateway 4 forward. This phase is now set to proceed before Gateways 2 and 3, and will see the incorporation of the rolling cloche device within new polytunnels. This phase is expected to commence in the first half of 2023 with potential revenues of c.£1.9 million. The Company is also exploring new potential revenue generating additions to the cloche design in order to make the units more self-sufficient in terms of energy usage, using solar power and batteries.
The overall time scale and potential contract value of £13.84 million remains unchanged.
UKRI Grant Update
The Company will now take full responsibility for the development of the harvesting elements alongside specialist contractors, which means that the value of the UK Research and Innovation (“UKRI”) grant receivable by the Group has increased to £621,077, for this project.
As previously announced on 15 February 2022, the grant was awarded by UKRI, the UK’s innovation agency, as part of its Farming Initiative Pathway (FIP) consortium for more sustainable and efficient plant growth in the UK agricultural sector.
Simon Deacon, CEO and founder of Light Science Technologies, said: “We are delighted with the progress made on the project and the agility of our relationship with Zenith Nurseries, which has allowed a reordering of workflow to bring forward part of Gateway 4.
“The cloche lighting and sensor technology system is as exciting as it is innovative. With applications across multiple plant varieties, we believe there will be significant demand for this solution as food security becomes progressively more crucial in a changing world.
“Importantly, given the numerous issues associated with climate change, which have and will severely impact growing conditions, our solutions enable growers to produce crops more locally, all year round.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014, as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (as amended).