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Where knowledge springs and flourishes, we grow beyond ourselves.

Our Mission

Better Plants R&D is an independent research, development and service institute for crop production under controlled conditions (CEA, Controlled Environment Agriculture). We research and develop market solutions for modern plant cultivation. In doing so, we enable economically and ecologically optimised systems and processes for a new generation of plant production sites in the food and health industries.

Our Drive

Our planet is changing. More and more people are claiming dwindling resources.

Our planet is changing. More and more people are claiming dwindling resources. Research and technological progress are opening up completely new potentials and production concepts for crops of all kinds. Responsible management of our biosphere requires a fundamental knowledge of technology, natural cycles, processes and systems. Where whole swaths of land are still being destroyed by monocultures and poisons today, nature could soon recover. We have the technology. We know the processes. It is in our hands alone to make a difference. Through our work, we aim to help visionaries, entrepreneurs, farmers, businesses and governments turn good intentions into measurable results and vibrant, sustainable industries.

Our Business Areas

Better Plants Research works at the interface between academic research and commercial or industrial implementation.

  1. Plant and Light Laboratory

    • Research and development on the topic of crop production under controlled conditions (CEA)
    • Process development and optimization in the CEA area
    • Services in the CEA area
    • Optimization of ingredients and other properties of plants - Growth studies
    • Analytics, Light Measurement
  2. Academic research projects

    • Cooperation with colleges and universities
    • Studies and product development
    • Mentoring
  3. Networking and Consulting

    • Consulting for industry and horticulture
    • Expertise und Matchmaking
    • Innovation platform for Controlled Environment Agriculture


We work with a wide variety of industries and organizations, helping with process development, business model transformation, and product development.

  • Controlled Environment Agriculture
  • Vertical/Urban Farming
  • Plant related data acquisition and processing (machine vision/machine learning)
  • Phytopharmaceuticals (cannabis industry in particular; existing THC license).
  • Plant genetics and technology (focus on cannabis)
  • Product development
  • Photonics
  • Microtechnology and sensors
  • Future Technologies :-)

Clients and Cooperation Partners

We attach great importance to a close and cooperative partnership in which the enjoyment of the joint project is of particular importance.

In most cases we work under confidentiality. All the more we thank the following partners who allow us to mention them here as a reference.

Our Founder David Schmidmayr

At the Klarenbrunn factory, David and his team are researching and developing concepts and solutions for a new and better way of cultivating plants.

After attending the HTL for mechanical engineering and automation technology, David studied mechatronics at the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, where he also worked as a research assistant in the microtechnology research center of the FHV. The main topics were LED technology, novel color conversion materials and laser technology.

In 2012, together with Martin Anker, he founded SANlight, global pioneer in the field of LED-based plant growth lights. SANlight's products were and are very successful internationally. In 2018, Sanlight Research saw the light of day as a separate and independent company whose business units were previously integrated into SANlight GmbH. In 2023, the company name was updated to "Better Plants R&D GmbH" to reflect the broader focus and competencies. In the Klarenbrunn factory, David and his team research and develop concepts and solutions for a new and better way of plant cultivation.

In his private life, David is a musician and rocks his guitars at least as passionately as he rocks his calculator in the lab. Bonsai art is another beat in the symphony of his life.


Whether you just want to say hello or urgently want to increase your vertical farm yield by 20 percent, we're eager to hear your story and see how we can grow together.

What is it about?

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