Abu Dhabi-based leading fresh produce and agritech company, Silal is launching the Innovation Oasis, an advanced Innovation, Research, and Development Centre (R&D) in Al Ain, in order to enable an ecosystem to advance the UAE’s and the region’s agriculture as well as food sector, using cutting-edge technologies.
Through its built-in laboratories and training facilities, the 300,000 square meters center intends to provide a hub for academic institutions, research organizations, and businesses to develop and trial technically robust solutions in order to boost agricultural growth and sustainably enhance production.
According to the statement, “From maximizing water efficiency to developing seeds, improving soil quality and better irrigation water systems, Innovation Oasis tackles the key challenges facing agriculture and food production in the UAE and Abu Dhabi.”
The new facility in Al Ain also includes a soil and water lab, a pest and disease diagnostic lab, a variety improvement lab, a plant growth chamber and phenotyping facility for seed development, and postharvest facilities including cold stores and exhibition areas.
There will also be an open-field trial site including fertigation systems, IoT sensors, weather stations, and automated systems, as per the company statement.
Earlier this year, Silal partnered with Netherlands-headquartered solar thermal desalination company, Desolenator, to launch a pilot project deploying solar-powered desalination technology to produce pure water for irrigation and provide a sustainable cooling option for greenhouses.
The unique project aims to contribute to the decarbonization of food production in desert climates by significantly lowering the carbon footprint of the desalination process.