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Partner Spotlight: Fluence by OSRAM

Dr. David Hawley

Austin, TX

What was the catalyst to join the Precision Indoor Plants consortium?

Big challenges, like advancing food security, and the underlying tasks require a leveraged, cross-functional approach. Driving toward Fluence by OSRAM’s mission of helping the world grow smarter through LED technology, our team wanted to collaborate with world-leading experts in vertical farming operations, technologies and breeding. Participating in the Precision Indoor Plants consortium provided an excellent opportunity for Fluence to advance the integration and optimization of these respective technologies that will ultimately contribute to global food security.

Why is lighting such an important component of sustainable crop production?

Lighting is the driving force for all plant growth. Particularly in an indoor environment, lighting is perhaps the most critical factor in driving sustainable crop production as it impacts every other system within a cultivation environment. Optimizing lighting parameters for given crop species in indoor farms ensures cultivators can maximize plant quality, output and overall energy usage. Sustainable options in lighting, such as LED technology, create efficiencies in crop production without sacrificing energy costs.

How can partnerships between organizations like FFAR and Fluence advance innovation in agriculture?

Organizations like FFAR and Fluence are codependent. We rely on each other and our collective knowledge to advance the biggest and most significant agricultural innovations. Fluence brings world-leading expertise in commercial photobiological applications, as well as flexible hardware platforms, rapidly enabling a number of indoor agriculture research projects that would otherwise be impossible. FFAR contributes the higher-level organization, coordination and synchronization of the largest industry drivers (like Fluence) to collaboratively overcome challenges to indoor agriculture that no individual organization could conquer alone.

About the Author 

Dr. David Hawley, Principal Scientist at Fluence by OSRAM 

Dr. David Hawley leads the scientific research initiative at Fluence by OSRAM as the company’s principal scientist. His experience in controlled environment systems, horticultural lighting and cannabis metabolome naturally underpins Fluence’s mission to drive industry-leading lighting research to explore the interaction between light and life. During his time at the University of Guelph—where he received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees—Dr. Hawley’s passions and research specialties merged in the lab, where he investigated the relationships between spectral quality and the three pillars of plant development: yield, morphology and plant quality. His doctoral studies also included the exploration of cannabis photochemistry and metabolism, after which he earned one of the first doctorates in North America focused on cannabis production.