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FFAR: International Leaders Discuss Next Frontiers in Indoor Agriculture

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit established through bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, is bringing together leaders from 26 businesses, seven universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and two trade associations to identify opportunities for indoor agriculture to contribute to more productive, sustainable urban food systems.

KeyGene, one of the sponsors of Crops in Controlled Environments Convening Event, contributed with a presentation of Stephen Schauer. Focus was how KeyGene technologies can be deployed to improve the viability of urban food production systems and vertical farming.

“Controlled Environment Agriculture is an exciting area of innovation at the intersection of biology, artificial intelligence, software and hardware that has the potential to deliver a stable food supply with consistent quality, just in time for consumers who value hyper local and sustainable products,” said Robin Lougee, Research Industry Lead for Consumer Products and Agriculture at IBM Research. “We’re excited to host this important event at the IBM Research THINKLab.”

The Foundation’s work in Urban Food Systems aims to enhance our ability to feed urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture, augmenting the capabilities of our current food system. The first Urban Food Systems grant was awarded to AeroFarms for work with Rutgers University to define the relationships between stressed plants, the phytochemicals they produce and the taste and texture of the specialty crops grown. The work will result in commercial production of improved leafy green varieties and yield science-based best practices for farming.