Technologies

Discover, Connect & Collaborate at TECHINNOVATION 2021

Cost-Effective and Flexible Indoor Vertical Farming

Technology Overview

With the looming impact of climate change and scarcity of natural resources, indoor vertical farming has been seen as a more sustainable alternative way to meet the growing food demand. However, high start-up cost and the complexity of the operating material are some of the deterring factors farmers faces when deciding to urbanise their farms. The indoor farming technology presented here sets to address the industry's key challenges of complexity and affordability, whilst also providing unprecedented flexibility and efficient scalability.

The end-to-end solution integrates unique hardware, software, and smart technology, with tested and optimised crop growth recipes (available for more than 150 different crops including microgreens, herbs, leafy greens, animal fodder, Australian native plants, flowering plants, and medicinal crops).

The technology is cost-effective, simple-to-use, flexible and scalable, that enables businesses, wherever they sit in the supply chain or geographically, to grow a wide variety of high-quality fresh, clean, and secure produce close affordably, predictably, and sustainably to where it is needed.

The technology provider is looking for industry collaboration partners.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The technology provides a closed-off environment to create ideal growth conditions for different plants, eliminating the need for expensive building modifications often associated with establishing an indoor farm.

It involves sealed grow-cubes (2m high x 1.5m square) that can be installed in existing spaces. The unique grow-space design is compatible with standard pallet-racking and materials handling equipment and produces significantly higher yield per m2 than competing systems.

When compared to current indoor farms in USA, this technology is also four times lower on CAPEX (normalising capex cost/tonne of annual capacity), 30% lower on a fully loaded operational cost/kg (for Romaine lettuce as a proxy), and more than three times the productivity in kg/m2 per annum (conservatively based on indoor vertical farms stacked only 3 levels high).

The supporting technology ecosystem incorporates an integrated IT/IoT technology stack and control systems that together, deliver a user-friendly end-to-end offering that enables customers to plan and manage their crop production, without the need for skilled in-house expertise. The company’s pre-programmed crop recipes (currently available for 150+ in-demand crops) via the supporting integrated software makes it easier for farmers to monitor and control the plants, reducing operation costs.

Potential Applications

This technology is mainly applied for improving indoor farming but can be extended to the following applications :

  • Pharmaceutical and wellness companies : secure, controlled, and efficient means to grow inputs for clinical drugs and health supplements, or beauty products and fragrances
  • Property developers: for urban farming
  • Existing indoor farmers looking to add capacity, crop flexibility and/or improve profitability
  • New entrant growers evaluating their technology options

Other target markets and applications include:

  • Pharmaceutical and Wellness companies: seeking secure, controlled, and efficient means of growing inputs for clinical drugs and health supplements, beauty products and fragrances,
  • Traditional Farmers: keen to supplement or diversify existing crop production, independent of climate conditions, and/or produce fodder for livestock feed,
  • Property Developers: looking to create integrated, sustainable, connected and productive communities with urban farming.
  • Humanitarian, Military and Mining camps: securing fresh food supplies for remote or disaster impacted locations.

Customer Benefits

For customers considering investment in controlled environment agriculture, this technology is :

  • quick and affordable to set up and scale
  • simple, sustainable, and cost-effective to operate
  • additionally, this technology also
  • delivers higher yields
  • promotes greater crop flexibility
  • involves no herbicides or pesticides
  • uses less water, land and reduces waste

More reliable, higher yields of tasty and nutritious produce with

  • less water, land, and waste
  • fewer food miles and packaging
  • no herbicides or pesticides
  • independent of climate extremes
OVERVIEW
Contact Person

Ben Lee

Organisation

GROW IMPACT ACCELERATOR

Technology Category

  • Foods
  • Life Sciences

Technology Readiness Level

Keywords

Agritech, indoor vertical farming,