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Farm Urban's Paul Meyers wins award

Dr Paul Meyers, the innovator and driving force behind the Aquaponics installation at Ness Gardens, has received the prestigious Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award.

The awards are presented to students who have displayed remarkable entrepreneurship while at University. Finalists from 19 universities from across the North attended the 2016 awards ceremony at the University of Huddersfield where the Duke of York presented them with certificates.

Paul co-founded Farm Urban, an eco start-up company that aims to link leading scientific research with local food production, while studying for his PhD in epigenetics at the University of Liverpool two years ago.

Farm Urban develops and tests the most efficient ways to grow food in urban environments, focusing primarily on aquaponics systems, which grow fish and vegetables simultaneously in a closed-loop ecosystem. 

University support

Since the business was formed in 2014, with the help of a £5,000 grant from the Liverpool Guild of Students, followed by an £8,000 grant from the Friends of the University, it has gone from strength to strength. Over the past two years, the team has developed several sites around Liverpool, ranging from smaller, experimental, community-based sites, to larger more commercially-focused enterprises.

A working model of the aquaponic system, which showcases the latest in sustainable growing techniques is currently on display at Ness in the Visitor Centre and open to the public daily. Other installations include an urban farm on the roof of the Liverpool Guild of Students  and three  aquaponic systems at the new Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Striving for change

Paul, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University's Institute of Integrative Biology, said: "By taking science fresh from the lab and implementing it in the heart of urban communities, we aim to change both how we do science and how we farm our food. Winning the award shows that what we have been doing as a social enterprise has been recognised and has value."

Urban Farm are currently focusing on their aquaponics education programme for schools, and also have plans to take their compact commercial systems into cafes and restaurants.

Visit for more information and keep up to date with the team's latest news on Twitter @Farm_Urban 



Dr Meyers receives his award from Prince Andrew.

22 April 2016