Agriculture: LIGHT CASCADE®, innovative technology to improve crop yields

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The startup CASCADE develops technology that optimises the light spectrum. Thanks to photoactive additives, the “light cascades” significantly improve crop growth. Backed by European funding and supported by Atlantic France’s public bodies, the company settled in new premises near Nantes in April.

CASCADE is a spin-off of a research project led by a private laboratory located near Nantes. The startup designs colored plastic films using the photoconversion of light to improve plant  development.

Impressive results proven in different crops 

To demonstrate the efficiency of its technology, CASCADE performed trials in real growing conditions and in several regions of Europe. For example in Huelva (Spain) where the solution was experimented for several years. Strawberry and raspberry crops increased their yield by 14% and those of blueberries by 12% and by 61% (accentuated yield gain under stressing conditions).

The results were also convincing for peppers (+11%), zucchinis (+25%), tomatoes (+16%- +28%), potatoes (+10%), melons (+7%), etc. And LIGHT CASCADE® technology is all the more efficient when the weather conditions are not good and in low DLI (DayLight Integratal) conditions: the yield of the melon can be up to 25% higher in crops equipped with this technology.

€2.1 million of European funding and new premises in Nantes

In December, CASCADE was chosen for the highly selective European fund “H2020 EIC Accelerator” which supports SME’s “for breakthrough innovation projects with a market-creating potential”. €2.1 million were granted to the startup to boost its development.

The company also recently moved to new and bigger premises in Saint-Herblain, near Nantes, and is recruiting. 

Here, we benefit from the exceptional dynamism of the territory: two years after our creation, Atlantic France’s regional council has supported us financially, thus allowing us to initiate a collaboration with the university research centers of the Nantes, Angers and Le Mans regions, both in agronomy and in materials science and chemistry, two essential fields.

Frédéric Peilleron, CEO of Cascade, on Nantes Saint-Nazaire Development’s website.

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