Dr. Leo Marcelis
SKY HIGH: Vertical Farming, a revolution in plant production
Generating Urban Food Systems Solutions
Dr. John Reich
FFAR award amount $1,061,576
Year Awarded 2021
Total award amount $6,630,342
Location Wageningen, The Netherlands
Matching Funders Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Bayer, Bosman Van Zaal, Certhon, Dutch Research Council (NWO), Fresh Forward, Grodan, GrowX, Own Greens, Priva, Signify, Solynta, Unilever, Van Bergen Kolpa Architects
With climate change, urbanization and other threats endangering farmland across the globe, innovations that grow food in cities and other limited spaces are vital to food security. Vertical farming, which grows crops in stacked layers, is a promising option that allows farmers to grow crops in nontraditional spaces, such as vacant warehouses.
Vertical farming provides greater control of climate and nutrition conditions than outdoor or greenhouse facilities. Yet, because of limited funding opportunities there are few researchers adapting crops to make them economical and sustainable in these production systems.
Our Precision Indoor Plants (PIP) consortium is funding SKY HIGH: Vertical Farming, a revolution in plant production to explore favorable conditions for crop nutrients, taste, appearance and shelf life in order to optimize vertical farms. The researchers are also focusing on how crops can be developed to thrive in indoor environments, including how to accelerate the development of crop varieties.
Crops grown in vertical farming environments have various advantages over those produced through conventional farming:
SKY HIGH’s research focus includes strawberries, potatoes, lettuce and basil. Ultimately, this research is developing crops that respond well to indoor environments and designing vertical farms with favorable conditions for their growth.
We connect funders, researchers and farmers through public-private partnerships to support audacious research addressing the biggest food and agriculture challenges. The SKY HIGH program is a collaboration of 18 organizations that are conducting research to make vertical agriculture cheaper, more nutritious and energy efficient.
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