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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

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76 Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Biophotonics and Ophthalmic Optics Indoor vertical farming unit by InFarm – Inhub Farming © Indoor vertical farming unit by InFarm – Growing Lights © Research and Education A major player in agriphotonics research in the capital region is the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB). The ATB works with climate, soil and plant data recorded in agricultural production and along the supply chain of plant-based food. Their sensing technology ranges from advanced lab-based microscopy and spectroscopy to mobile spectroscopic systems including time-of-flight analysis and photogrammetry. ATB has developed data processing methods and agronomic models. These models, based on physiological submodels and artificial intelligence, use the sensor data and are aimed at the sustainable intensification of agricultural processes. This includes ecophysiological water and carbon balance, variable rate application of fertilizers, thinning agents and pesticides as well as freshness, storage and packing optimization. The ATB is initiator of the bilateral network AGRIPHOTON- ICS fundes by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Photonics for Precision Farming Photonics plays an increasing role in horticultural plant research. Likewise, in agricultural crop cultivation open field horticulture and in large greenhouses could benefit from sensing with flying platforms as e.g. drones or copters. These kinds of applications, however, are in the early development stages. Sensing directly on the plant, however, or fixed sensors in the root zone, soil or substrate, are more common. To create the most optimal conditions for the crop in a given environment various actions can be done. In protected cultivation, in greenhouses and controlled environments, supplementary (electrical) lighting is commonly used. The availability of LED lighting sources is more and more used to create specific light spectra for certain targeted plant responses. With the help of advanced sensing, simulation and lighting technologies, horticulture responds to climate change and to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially “improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2), “sustainable cities and communities” (SDG11), and “climate action” (SDG13). In Berlin and Brandenburg, a well-developed community for LED development and lighting solutions (see chapter 2.2 “Lighting Technology”) meets an agile community of research institutions and start-up companies in agri- and horticulture. The Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) e. V. for example, hosts research on “Next-generation horticultural systems”. In this group, they investigate among many other aspects, how LED light sources can be optimally used including light recipes for crop growth and quality performance in controlled environments in combination with the other climatic factors.

Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Biophotonics and Ophthalmic Optics 77 Several companies exploit already ideas of advanced horticultural concepts. Crocus Labs UG is young start-up with a mission to disrupt the indoor horticulture industry. The company is specialised in providing ultra-high efficiency smart lighting solutions that will significantly reduce the electricity costs related to artificial lighting used in greenhouses, indoor & vertical farms while enabling them to grow a wider variety of crops indoor. As the company controls the design of the entire process in-house from LED devices, sensor PCB’s, software components all the way to the luminaires, the products con be customised as per customer needs. InFarm – Indoor Urban Farming GmbH is specialised in indoor vertical farming technology for easy scalable and rapidly deployable modular farms. The individual farming units are connected and remotely controlled from a central farming platform that gathers up-to-the minute information about the growth of each plant. They are currently working with 30+ of the world’s biggest retailers to grow over 65+ different types of herbs, lettuces, and leafy greens. InFarm has developed novel solutions based on optimized lighting, plant modelling and crops optimisation. The Stenon GmbH develops a device for mobile soil analsis in agriculture and particularly in vegetable cultivation. This “smart spade” measures a number of soil parameters such as nutrient concentration, pH-value, temperature and humidity in 0 to 30 centimeters. Furthermore, the soil type and its texture are determined. After about 20 seconds, the data is recorded. In the future, the experts at Stenon want to integrate their sensors into regular agricultual tools such as a plow. When is the right moment for harvesting fruit? And how long is a stored fruit good for sale? To answer such questions, the company Control in applied Physiology CP offers sensor systems which measure fruit development in the field and in storage. Their sensors, for example, can be installed on an apple farm and the farmer can see on his smartphone the current state of his product. Along storage and distribution the technology allows for a quality tracking and certification. The technology has been developed in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB). Sensing plays an important role within the concept of precision agriculture. There, precision refers to a specific treatment of plants: What if every single plant could get exactly the amount of fertilizer it needs? LOMAGRI GmbH develops a technology that will help farmers to spray precisely on target. They developed a specific sensor that determines the status of plants continuously and thus, pesticide application along the row/path con be reduced by more than 60 %. The new sensor detects morphological and physiological information from individual plants and entire rows of plants in real time. Applications are expected in gardning, farming and forestry. Photonic Insights GmbH is offering multiple sensor solutions for applying multiple spectroscopy methods in agricultural pllications. See their profile in chapter 2.4 “Optical Analytics”. Ophthalmology and Innovative Eyewear Digitisation is more than just a new trend in ophthalmic optics. It has become essential for the development of new products, processes and solutions. On the medical side, digitisation together with artificial intelligence enables new concepts for diagnosis and treatments. For instance, innovations such as Augmented Reality (AR) contact lenses or wavefront aberrometers and topics like online refraction and tele optometry. But digitisation also revolutionises the process chain in eyewear production. Today, optometric data for new spectacle

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