David Nothmann

Growing Pains on the Way to a More Resilient Vertical Farming Industry

As we usher in the New Year, a reflection on the dynamic last few months in indoor farming news provides some insight for what to expect in 2023 and beyond. We’ve seen both contractions by organizations like Fifth Season, Kalera and Infarm reevaluating and restructuring under financial pressure, and expansion, with others like GoodLeaf, Crop One and Freight Farms securing additional funding and growing.

Some observers have suggested we’re in the “Trough of Disillusionment” (the third of five phases in the Gartner Hype Cycle) but we’re right where we should be in the development of a healthy new market. Some first movers are finding success and others are still trying to achieve operational efficiency — and in an industry based on unit economics and efficiency (particularly yield per kilowatt hour), it’s all about efficiency.

Vertical farm operations are equal parts ag and tech, and they require incredibly complex systems, including climate control, lighting, irrigation, automation and, most importantly, systems integration. That last one, systems integration, is the linchpin. It is no small task to bring together disparate technology in a cohesive and coherent way that increases productivity and reduces costs, yet “operational efficiency” is generally not highly valued by venture capital investors. Nonetheless, the most successful vertical farming organizations to date have been those closest to achieving “systemness” — a concept most often applied to the healthcare system but also applicable to modern agriculture (both traditional outdoor and controlled environment indoor). Systemness is the highest achievable state of a complex system, with interconnecting elements working together to operate in ways that go beyond the operation of its component parts. In other words, one plus one equals three.

Bowery, an innovation partner of Unfold, is an instructive example. They’ve developed their own “operating system” that harmonizes data from across their facilities and finely tunes growing conditions based on that data. The BoweryOS, as they call it, brings all their systems together under one umbrella and helps them achieve systemness. Some observers are skeptical of claims made about the development of new operating systems and the use of artificial intelligence (AI), but you can’t argue with success. Bowery has doubled their revenue for the second year in a row and is on track to double their number of farms in 2023. Their success demonstrates a high degree of operational efficiency through a data-driven approach.

Unfold 2023 Gold Sponsor Indoor Ag-Con
Unfold is an industry-leading seed and digital solutions company advancing the vertical farming industry.

But even when optimal efficiency is achieved, most vertically farmed products today still fill a premium niche, which is why strong marketing programs are key to communicating value to both consumers and investors.  Singapore based vertical farming company Sustenir, another Unfold innovation partner, is such an example. Introducing the concept of “Superfoods for Supercities,” Sustenir continues to elevate the discussion around nutrient-dense produce and the role vertical farming can play in the health and wellness of consumers. With additional operations in Malaysia and Hong Kong, Sustenir utilizes social media to connect with consumers and promote their own brands. In addition to fresh leafy greens, they “upcycle” waste streams into other products, like their Spectacular Spinach Noodles. This focus on branding and consumer packaged goods mindset is not unique to Sustenir in the vertical farming space, but they lead the Asian market in their emphasis on nutrition and sustainability.

The exciting thing to watch for over the next few years will be the shift toward parity with outdoor growers — at least in the product categories most conducive to vertical farming. We’re going to see a gradual but significant reduction on the cost side, as operations become more efficient, more data is collected and used, and technology costs decline. The very technology that made vertical farming possible in the first place — climate control systems, irrigation systems, and especially LED lighting systems — has steadily fallen in cost and is continuing a downward trend even in the midst of global inflationary pressures. Do you recall when the traditional A-shape LED bulb was introduced at a cost of around $30? Now they’re $3-4 — a 10-fold drop. Here’s how United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) partner U4E describes the advancement: “Technologies for artificial lighting have made tremendous progress … from incandescent lamps, with a visible efficacy of about 10 lumen/watt, to compact fluorescent lighting with 50 lumen/watt, to the LED lamps as we know today of 110 lumen/watt to finally, this new LED breakthrough with incredible efficiency levels – 210 lumen/watt” (emphasis mine).

Even energy — the often-cited Achilles heel of vertical farming — will drop in cost over time as more renewables come online and farms become even more efficient in their energy use. Granted, the average retail price of electricity has risen over the past several years, which is why operators work so hard to secure a stable energy price. In the US, commercial electricity costs have risen roughly 7% from 2014 to 2021 according to Statista and remain on an upward trajectory, while industrial electricity has gone up about 2% over the same time frame. The increase is even higher in other places like Europe and Singapore. We believe co-location of large vertical farms with energy production will drive further efficiencies and cost reductions. This concept, advanced initially by Unfold CEO Sonia Lo, is captured in part in her interview by Greenhouse Grower, titled “Four Concentric Circles of Controlled-Environment Agriculture.” Keep in mind that these things are taking place in the context of an increasingly volatile climate that makes the predictability of indoor farming more and more attractive.

Unfold Indoor Ag-Con 2023 Gold Sponsor

Just as important as reducing costs, we need to continue to boost vertical farming’s productivity.  That’s where Unfold’s work comes in to play. We adamantly believe that productivity starts with better seeds, because even the most efficiently operated and technologically integrated vertical farm can’t afford to produce products from seeds that don’t perform optimally indoors. Our first step has been to screen existing seed libraries to identify the varieties most likely to succeed in indoor environments. With our exclusive license to Bayer genetics in lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, we have a world-class library from which to choose. Using this approach, we will launch a few new romaine varieties in 2023 based on seed lines showing promising traits for vertical farming. Initial tests indicate strong harvest yield numbers and highly consistent saleable yield.

Our second step is to use all the tools of modern breeding to develop novel varieties with the most desired traits. Most genetics for leafy greens thus far have been developed for open field environments, with traits that protect plants from diseases and pests, as well as certain environmental stresses. Unfold is focusing on traits critical for indoor production both from an agronomic and produce quality perspective. In addition to utilizing existing Bayer germplasm, Unfold can access the full Bayer pipeline of genetic diversity to develop novel products honed for indoor production. Finally, as we accumulate performance data across our selection and breeding pipelines, we’re building our AI and data analytics platform to produce new high-performing products for indoor farming customers more quickly.

Tasty Romaine Unfold
Tasty romaine lettuce grown from Unfold seeds

For all of these reasons, Unfold is as confident as ever in the long-term success of vertical farming. As the industry matures, some organizations will succeed and expand while others struggle, contract, restructure or even ultimately fail. Over time, the balance will shift, as companies demonstrating operational excellence will continue to grow and new players learn what works and what doesn’t. That’s the development of a healthy new market. You can see it in the fact that the vertical farming industry is expanding beyond leafy greens into strawberries, tomatoes, and other high value crops.

Vertical farming will always be a supplement and not a replacement for traditional agriculture, but with a global population recently surpassing 8 billion and showing no sign of slowing, it will become an ever more important one — particularly as climate change creates additional pressures on the global food supply. Protected from the ravages of flood, drought, and pests, and closer to the urban centers demanding more fresh, local food, the niche that vertical farming fills right now will only grow. The headwinds currently slowing the industry’s growth are not permanent. Energy prices will eventually stabilize as farms secure their own renewable sources while continuing to improve efficiency through peer learning and technological advancement.

So, let’s be clear-eyed and not disillusioned moving forward. The vertical farming industry is right where it should be. Let’s continue to work together to address some key market needs and add value to consumers.

Have a taste for more? Please visit our website at www.unfold.ag and follow us on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Let’s seed the way forward, together.

Contacts:

David Nothmann, COO Unfold

pr@unfold.com

Kimberly Esterkin

Addo Investor Relations, unfold@addo.com

Rick Vanzura Freight Farms

The Future Of CEA Is Our Shared Responsibility

People work and harvest in Freight Farms’ container farm, the Greenery™ S

Hi, I’m Rick Vanzura, CEO of Freight Farms. Our vision is a world in which resilient and self-sufficient communities grow through local food and sustainable food systems, which we strive to make a reality through our indoor farming technology. We build our hydroponic farms inside 40’ x 8’ shipping containers that are precisely controlled and climate independent. Each container farm enables farmers to produce 2+ acres of fresh, hyper-local food annually, no matter where in the world they put the farm. This distributed model is central to Freight Farms’ mission. As part of a decentralized network, Freight Farmers — who make up the largest IoT-connected network of commercial farms — have access to the knowledge and support of other growers from around the world via our farmhand® software. This includes hundreds of for-profit, educational, and nonprofit farmers.

A container farm in transit to the Bahamas, where it is being put to work growing produce for the community.

Over the last year, an increased focus on a return for the billions of dollars invested has put the indoor agriculture industry under pressure. This was inevitable and is, to some extent, welcome. It will force all of us to be much more focused on strong business models, energy consumption, and wise allocation of resources. It also will encourage the industry to work together to highlight the advantages of controlled environment agriculture and indoor farming in both the near and distant future. Issues of declining land and water availability will not go away. The population will not stop increasing. Climate change is a reality. We will need all forms of agriculture to mitigate these issues and feed the planet.

Freight Farms
Freight Farms’ container farm, the Greenery™ S, alight with high-power, high-efficiency LED grow lights.

I hope to see many of you at Indoor Ag Con, where we can continue to explore the issues and opportunities facing the industry and find ways to collaborate. CEA and indoor farming take many forms, but we share a common goal of providing climate-independent access to food around the world. Let’s tackle the pressing issues of energy usage and business model viability to continue to prove our value to both consumers and the planet. As the current investor climate illustrates, we have no time to waste. A win for any of us is a win for all of us.

About Freight Farms:

Freight FarmsFounded in 2012, Freight Farms debuted the first vertical hydroponic farm built inside an intermodal shipping container with the mission of democratizing and decentralizing the local production of fresh, healthy food. Since its inception, Freight Farms has refined its product offering to arrive at the Greenery™ S container farm. With global customers ranging from small business farmers to the corporate, hospitality, retail, education, and nonprofit sectors, Freight Farmers make up the largest network of connected farms in the world. AgTech Breakthrough named Freight Farms the 2022 “IoT Monitoring Solution of the Year” for its farmhand® IoT automation software.

 

To learn more, visit freightfarms.com , an 2023 Indoor Ag-Con sponsor or connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or TikTok.

good natured® Provides High-tech Growers with Plant-based Packaging to Maximize Positive Environmental Impact

good natured Products Inc. (the “Company” or “good natured®”) (TSX-V: GDNP), a North American leader in earth-friendly plant-based products and Indoor Ag-Con 2023 exhibitor (booth 228) continues to grow its market traction with fast-growing food producers who are taking a fresh approach to supplying plant-based, nutritional foods to communities across North America. A growing population, changing climate conditions and consumers’ desire to support local suppliers is creating opportunity for innovative food producers to introduce new crops and next-gen sustainable agriculture practices that are easier on the planet than some traditional growing methods.

One customer, Heron Farms in South Carolina, is turning sea level rise into sustainable agriculture, one delicious Sea Bean at a time. Heron Farms is North America’s premiere indoor saltwater vertical farm that grows salt-tolerant crops such as sea beans, sea pickles and sea asparagus using predictive software and cutting-edge automated data collection and analysis methods. At the forefront of sustainable farming practices, Heron Farms distributes to retail, restaurants, and food service industries throughout 14 US states.

“We’re on a mission to solve two of the 21st century’s largest environmental problems, rising sea water levels and excess carbon dioxide. We strategically chose plant-based packaging from good natured® as the best option to extend our brand values beyond the product we produce all the way through to the packaging itself,” explained Sam Norton, Founder and CEO of Heron Farms.

Meanwhile, ColdAcre in Whitehorse, Yukon is taking sustainable growing practices to the next level by providing year-round fresh food and growing solutions for far northern climates. ColdAcre provides wholesale and commercial fresh grown food in plant-based, certified compostable packaging from good natured®, which is distributed through small independent grocers through to large chains, such as Save-On-Foods in the Yukon. ColdAcre is the only year-round food producer of greens in the Yukon and sells their farming system across Canada and the Arctic. Their systems source local jobs, reduce supply chain dependency and bring high-quality fresh produce to communities making them more self-sufficient and sustainable.

Indoor Ag-Con 2023 Exhibitor Good Natured“We made it a mandate when we started ColdAcre that we wouldn’t contribute to the single-use plastics problem that’s top of mind for many Canadians. We’ve been very pleased to be able to work with our like-minded partner good natured® as we prepare to triple our production in the coming months and offer our products in plant-based, compostable packaging,” said Tarek Bos-Jabber, CEO of ColdAcre.

The good natured® corporate profile can be found at: investor.goodnaturedproducts.com

About good natured Products Inc.
good natured® is passionately pursuing its goal of becoming North America’s leading earth-friendly product company by offering the broadest assortment of eco-friendly options made from plants instead of petroleum. We’re all about making it easy and affordable for business owners and consumers to switch to better everyday products® made from renewable materials and free from chemicals of concern.

Part of the sustainable consumer goods market, good natured® offers over 400 products and services through wholesale and retail channels, including our own e-commerce stores. From plant-based home organization products to compostable food containers, bioplastic industrial supplies and medical packaging, we’re focused on delivering a great customer experience to make more plant-based products readily accessible to more people as the path to deliver meaningful environmental and social impact.

For more information: goodnaturedproducts.com

Surna Releases White Paper

Surna Releases the Cultivator’s Guide to Grow Room Layout & Design

When it comes to designing your grow room layout, the possibilities can feel overwhelming. Where do you begin, and how will you make your design and equipment choices?

The Cultivator’s Guide to Grow Room Layout & Design

Time is money, and grow room layouts will have a direct effect on the quality of your crop, as well as the efficiency of your labor and overall operating costs. Surna has released this free educational resource for you to dive into the key components of a successful grow and to visualize which options make sense for your business.

Gain insight from engineering and design experts. Compare four example layout configurations modeled from a real commercial cultivation client. Find out how your layout might affect the canopy size, space utilization, architectural considerations, lighting requirements, HVACD design needs, and operations planning.

Download your free whitepaper today.

Surna WhitePaper

Helping Growers Bring Their Visions to Life

The success of your indoor farm will largely depend on the decisions you make before breaking ground. Surna Cultivation Technologies provides comprehensive indoor ag services and equipment to suit every unique grower’s needs.

With over 16-years of experience in controlled environment agriculture (CEA), Surna can guide you in creating the cultivation facility you’ve imagined, keeping your budget in mind. Streamline the planning and buildout process, then see your yields and profits grow!

As your one-stop-shop for equipment and services in CEA, Surna provides everything you need to get growing including architectural design, MEP engineering, HVAC systems, benching and racking, lighting, controls and automation, water treatment, and more! Find out how Surna can help bring your cultivation facility to life: watch now.

 

Meet Surna Cultivation Technologies In-Person at the 2023 Indoor Ag-Con

Are you planning to launch an indoor farm? Are you expanding or optimizing your existing facility? Surna invites you to stop by booth #807 at the 2023 Indoor Ag-Con located in Las Vegas, Nevada. An expert representative will be waiting to discuss your goals and begin evaluating which indoor ag solutions are the best fit for your needs.

Visit surna.com to learn more.

AeroFarms WWF

AeroFarms Continues National and Global Expansion With New Farms Coming in the St. Louis Region and Qatar

AeroFarms, award-winning leader in indoor vertical farming, has recently released plans to build a next-gen indoor smart farm in the St. Louis region in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. In an effort to create a more distributed and resilient food system, AeroFarms will construct a roughly 150,000 square foot indoor vertical farm that will produce several million pounds of produce annually. This farm will use up to 95% less water and 99% less land while producing 390x the yield per square foot compared to traditional field farming. To read the full Indoor Soilless Farming Report from World Wildlife Fundclick here.

In addition, AeroFarms has proudly announced a new expansion in partnership with Qatar Free Zones Authority to build a new commercial indoor vertical farm that will meet Qatar’s growing appetite for fresh, sustainably grown leafy greens + address the growing need for regional agriculture production and climate resiliency throughout the MENA region. Over the last century, the MENA region has experienced significant population growth, yet the region contains less than 2% of the world’s renewable freshwater resources. AeroFarms expansion in partnership with QFZA will increase regional agriculture production, growing fresh produce in arid conditions with up to 95% less water.

Read the full story on AeroFarms Qatar expansion!

 

Jiffy Group at Indoor Ag-Con 2023

Jiffy Group: Growing Media Solution for CEA

Soil and water are the two most crucial resources for feeding the world’s expanding population. For this reason, more people may be able to be fed with fewer resources by adopting the practice of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA).

The Global controlled environment agriculture substrate market is projected to witness a Y-o-Y growth of 15.1% in 2027*. That’s why Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is an exciting segment in horticulture.

What Jiffy solutions are best for CEA?

Jiffy GroupJiffy Growing Solutions Logo is renowned for the outstanding quality of its growing media.

Growers know they can rely on Jiffy year in year out to supply them with a wide range of solutions that are clean, safe, sustainable, and innovative. Jiffy got decades of experience selling to greenhouse growers, and products like Preforma, Growbags, and Pellets are clean and easy to use, with organic options.

*Report from Dee Market Insights Pvt. Ltd.

See Jiffy Group at the February 27-28, 2023 edition of Indoor Ag-Con in booth 918.

Visit the Jiffy Group website to read the full story!

HP Now Indoor Ag-Con 2023

HP Now | Irrigation Uniformity and Hydrogen Peroxide

Indoor Ag-Con 2023 Exhibitor HP Now (Booth 204) shares:  Growers care for their crops by providing them with all they need: light, nutrients, water, and the right growing conditions. Ironically, the system they are using to provide plants with water and nutrients may also double as a vehicle for unwanted guests in the form of pathogens such as Pythium, Phytophthora, and other fungi and bacteria which can damage crops and raise food safety concerns.

This host of organisms is usually present in irrigation water in small amounts, but tends to proliferate in the water system in the form of biofilm. Biofilm is not only a hotbed for pathogen infestation, but it also has a strong negative impact on irrigation uniformity as it blocks emitters.

This article explains all about how biofilm can be addressed and the role Peroxide UltraPure plays in this.

Learn more about Irrigation Uniformity and Hydrogen Peroxide by reaching out to the team at HP Now

HP Now Indoor Ag-Con 2023

www.hpnow.eu 

Intelligent Growth Solutions

UK-Based Intelligent Growth Solutions Chooses Loveland, Colorado For North American Headquarters

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), the Scottish-based agricultural infrastructure company (and Indoor Ag-Con 2023 exhibitor!) , has announced that it has selected Loveland, Colorado, for its expansion into North America.

“IGS’ technology, mission and people are a perfect fit for the ag-tech ecosystem that continues to flourish across our region and in Loveland,” said City of Loveland Economic Development Director, Kelly Jones. “Northern Colorado provides tremendous value to a diverse range of industries and we are proud of this truly collaborative, regional effort to bring this innovative company, as well as high paying jobs, to the area.”

IGS designs, produces and maintains vertical farming technology that enables indoor growing anywhere, eliminates the need for pesticides or fungicides and reduces water consumption by up to 95%. Because no arable land is required, these systems can also be used to reduce the carbon footprint of food production by locating farms closer to the point of consumption or production. Opening a base of operations in Loveland will allow the company to better support North American customers, the company’s fastest growing market.

“The forward-looking approach to economic development within the city of Loveland and the state of Colorado fits perfectly with Intelligent Growth Solutions’ purpose of working with growers to help deliver sustainable food security,” said David Farquhar, CEO of IGS. “The location is within easy reach of a huge market as well as supply chain partners and is a great place for our people – and their families – to live, with 300 days of sunshine and just 30 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.

“The location of our North American headquarters is a pivotal decision in our evolution as market leader. We are confident that our new Loveland base will allow our rapidly growing business to continue to expand and thrive on a global platform, as we deliver vertical farming infrastructure to enable real farmers to grow an expanding range of crops reliably, profitably and sustainably because we give them total control of the weather for the first time: designed in Scotland manufactured in Colorado.”

The company also chose Loveland for the strong, skilled labour pool. Overall, IGS expects to create 114 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $98,991, which is 183% of the average annual wage in Larimer County. Positions will include engineers, supply chain managers, human resource and legal managers, as well as roles in marketing and sales.

“Innovative companies like IGS are building on Colorado’s strong agricultural heritage to create a future-thinking ag tech industry that will feed communities and support a thriving economy across our state. We are pleased to see Loveland become IGS’s North American headquarters and look forward to celebrating future accomplishments,” said Patrick Meyers, OEDIT Executive Director.

“We are delighted to welcome Intelligent Growth Solutions to Loveland as they establish their base of operations. Their innovative technology, environmentally-focused mission and talented people are a perfect fit for the community,” said Jacki Marsh, Mayor of Loveland.

The State of Colorado will provide up to $2,758,845 in performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits to IGS. The company currently has 220 employees, one of whom is already based in Colorado. In addition to Colorado, the company considered Washington and Massachusetts.

 

About Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS):

Founded in 2013, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) is a multi-award-winning global business based in Scotland, which designs, supplies, and supports vertical farms for growers worldwide. We blend our engineering, crop science and agronomy skills to build the best technology to allow our customers to grow high-quality, nutritious food 365 days a year.

IGS delivers Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA) solutions to allow growers to take precise control over every element of the growing environment, enabling predictable and consistent cultivation in any suitable location.

In August 2018, IGS launched its Crop Research Centre in Dundee, and the business has since established a customer base across four continents. To date, IGS has raised more than $66.8 million in investment across two institutional fundraises (Series A concluding in September 2019 at $8.6 million and Series B concluding in November 2021 at $58.2 million).*

 

For more information visit www.igs.farm or connect with on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

 

*Figures based on exchange rates as of September 2019 and October 2021 respectively.

 

UA-CEAC NCERA Meeting

2022 NCERA-101 Annual | International Meeting

Indoor Ag-Con Marketing Partner, the  University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center , is pleased to invite you to attend the 2022 International Meeting of the NCERA-101 Committee on Controlled Environment Technology & Use. The conference is being held at the Marriott University Park Hotel located on The University of Arizona main campus, Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is home to The University of Arizona and is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, making it the first city in the United States of America to be honored with this designation.

Conference Registration 

Click HERE to register for the event. If you are coming with a spouse/partner (non-delegate) you may choose to include them in our Gala Dinner & Technical Tour day activities. Simply purchase Guest Gala Dinner and Technical Tour tickets for them to join these activities. Conference registration is separate from the hotel booking. Registration ends by 5 PM (MT) on August 22nd, 2022. 

Accommodations 

Meeting attendees are welcome to stay at Marriott University Park Hotel. If you choose to do so, please book your room by August 22nd, 2022 to take advantage of a discounted conference rate of $139 per night. The rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis, so we encourage attendees to make their reservations as soon as possible. Register for hotel rooms HERE 

Please see the full meeting program HERE 

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture Announces New Water Quality and Management Service

COE Erick Bandala
Dr. Erick Bandala to head new water quality and management service for Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture, a U.S. based company that supports the growth of the vertical and indoor farming industry, announced a new water quality and management service headed by Dr. Erick Bandala, an environmental scientist.

The new service focuses on the sustainable use of water for indoor vertical farms, greenhouses, and urban farms as well as water safety and quality. Services include water quality testing and assessment, contaminant identification and source assessment, wastewater treatment and reuse, and water treatment system identification and evaluation. Services also include advanced bacterial testing and analytics, as well as the detection of chemicals such as PFAS.

More info is available at https://indooragcenter.org/water-quality-management

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., Founder| Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence notes, “Water is the lifeblood of all farms. Having a quality water supply that is effectively managed is essential to running a sustainable, efficient, and safe indoor farm. The Center is proud to offer this service to the industry under the direction of Dr. Bandala.”

Dr. Bandala observes, “Indoor farms are well-known for saving significant amounts of water while growing plants compared to conventional farms. However, much less is known about how water use may affect indoor farm operations or the quality of the product. I am excited to join the Center to help indoor growers solve water quality-related problems, improve water efficiency and to reduce their overall use of water for operations.”

About The Center
The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture provides insights about the economics of indoor farming based on a careful analysis of industry data and from thought leaders in industry and academia. As the first U.S.-based Center of Excellence dedicated to indoor farming, it promotes best practices, bench-marking, new knowledge and research. Its annual Best in Class Indoor Farming Awards™ recognize top indoor growers and manufacturers. The Center is located in the Philadelphia metro region.

About Erick R. Bandala, Ph.D.
Dr. Bandala holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, an MSc in Organic Chemistry and BEng in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Bandala is author or co-author of nearly one hundred peer-reviewed papers in international journals, 5 books, 27 book chapters and 65 works published in proceedings of international conferences.