A High-Tech Lab Farm for Medical Herbs: iFarm Completes Capsum’s Cosmetics Research Facility in France

You can grow herbs most of the year outdoors in Provence, but Capsum, a producer of high-end cosmetics, has just opened an indoor lab-farm inside its manufacturing site in Marseille. To build this cutting-edge test kitchen for medical herbs, Capsum leaned on the technology and expertise of iFarm, which provided both hardware and software support for the lab, as well as design and consulting services.

The new lab will not only allow Capsum to experiment with various growth recipes for their ingredients in a controlled environment; it also gives them a year-round source of raw material that is guaranteed to meet their standards for ecologically pure, pesticide-free cosmetics. For iFarm, this represents a major addition to their portfolio of crops, proving their technology’s growing reach from salad greens and berries to cosmetics ingredients and medical herbs.
Capsum is a research and development company specializing in using the science of microfluidics to create effective, penetrative cosmetics. They invest a great deal into the laboratory study of the natural ingredients they use, which includes a large array of plants from flowers to microgreens.
Indoor growing is perfect for the beauty industry, as it allows us to cultivate in a fully controlled environment free from pesticides and any harmful chemicals. iFarm’s technology fits the needs of our researchers, since they are able to vary a wide range of parameters.”

Anthony Briot
COO, Capsum
The work began with installing the high-tech racks, LED lights, and irrigation systems for the three growing rooms. The racks are built using the latest Ebb and Flow tray hydroponics technology. iFarm’s design for the test farm also includes an engineering room, where the automation control system is located. Now that the iFarm have completed their work in Marseille, Capsum’s researchers will be able to control every element of the growing process. This includes using LEDs that can change the spectrum of light they emit.
“We were pleased that we met this challenge of building a universal farm flexible enough to experiment with all kinds of plants. With iFarm, clients can start with an R&D project and then scale it up to industrial production, with full hardware and software support along the way.”

Timo Koljonen
iFarm, VP Sales
In addition to the lab design and installation, the farm is managed with iFarm Growtune, which means Capsum researchers don’t need to become professionals in farming, automation and hydroponics.
One of iFarm’s goals was to get the project up and running as soon as possible, so the first batch of grants could start to grow.

The first grow room was operational within seven weeks of the deal getting signed.

With this foray into cosmetics R&D, iFarm is continuing to expand the range of potential applications for its high-tech vertical farms and GrowTune platform. With rapid installation, software support, and a stable supply of organic plants, iFarm’s services may be of interest to a varied array of clients around the world.


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