Brussels, June 15th, 2021 – AKKA Technologies, a European leader in engineering consulting and R&D services is proud to collaborate with Futura Gaïa, an innovative French start-up which designs and develops indoor vertical farms combining agronomy precision and cutting-edge technology for the agricultural world. Vertical farming aims to compensate for the loss of surface area, due to the continued population growth and expansion of cities, by stacking cylinders to increase the area produced in a controlled environment.
Since the end of 2019 AKKA has leveraged its cross-sectorial expertise in the field of automotive and aeronautics to accompany Futura Gaïa in the robotization of the cultivation process. One example is the development of a tailored automated guided vehicle (AGV) solution to move the systems between the production racks and the harvesting area. This AGV helps performing the extraction and insertion of containers GiGrow machines in their rack by a robotic arm, at a height of six meters and a total payload above 800 kilograms.
More recently, AKKA contributed to the successful set-up of the first prototype farm, also known as pilot pre-industrialization farm, in February 2021 in Tarascon where the first 12 cultural systems had been emplaced. By July 2021, the farm will operate 48 cultural systems. The creation of this first prototype farm validates the ability of future large-scale production farms to commit to quality, prices and volumes.
Jean-Franck Ricci, AKKA’s Group Managing Director in charge of business development and sales, commented: “We are extremely pleased to work alongside Futura Gaïa on these innovative vertical agricultural solutions. For more than 18 months our expertise in robotics and automatics in the aeronautics and automotive field have been instrumental in the set-up technical solutions. This project demonstrates AKKA’s ability to leverage cross-sectorial knowledge and expertise and to propose transversal solutions, injecting an innovational drive to any business.”
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Futura Gaïa to partner with a worldwide leader like AKKA. The last 18th months where crucial for us with the design and setup of our first farm. Thanks to AKKA robotic expertise we had design, select and start the robotization in less than a year with 3 lockdowns. Now, we have our first robot active and totally autonomous in our farm in the south of France.” said Pascal Thomas, President and CEO of Futura Gaïa Technologies.