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Sunday Wrap-Up: New Funding Rounds, Grants & The Opening Of A Research Facility
Discover a complete recap of the week's news in the indoor farming sector.
Good morning readers. This week has seen new funding rounds, new grants, and the opening of new vertical farming facilities in the middle-east.
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Indeed, AeroFarms unveiled its largest indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, Purdue University received a $10M grant to increase seafood production in the United States using aquaponics and further its research.
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This Week in Indoor Farming
Futura Gaïa banked an 11M Euro funding round. They have developed a unique solution called rotary geoponics, which involves growing plants in soil. The company aims to address the challenges of climate change and water scarcity by improving food sovereignty.
According to Pascal Thomas, co-founder and president of Futura Gaïa, “Our solution will allow the affected populations to access local and healthy products in addition to the adaptations of the agricultural world. Our innovations will also be a preferred source of high-quality, environmentally-friendly ingredients for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The support and loyalty of historical investors, as well as the arrival of new capital providers, demonstrate the relevance of our approach.”
In 2020, Futura Gaïa raised 2.5 million euros in a first funding round and built its first farm in Tarascon. This was followed by a second funding round in which the company raised 11 million euros from existing and new investors. The funds will be used to enhance their R&D capabilities and install their first industrial-scale vertical farm.
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AeroFarms, a leader in the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry, has unveiled its newest indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The AeroFarms AgX is the largest indoor vertical farm in the world for research and development, boasting 65,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratories to conduct organoleptic research and precision phenotyping, phytochemical analysis, and research on next-generation machine vision, machine learning, robotics, and automation.
“AeroFarms has been expanding globally for both our commercial and R&D indoor vertical farms, leveraging our growing expertise and proprietary technology platform that can help solve a broader array of agricultural challenges,” commented David Rosenberg, Co-Founder, and CEO of AeroFarms. “We are incredibly proud of the amazing international turnout and support at the highest levels for our Grand Opening of AeroFarms AgX. Our ongoing partnership with ADIO reflects our bigger commitment to help transform agriculture, accelerate innovating cycles, and commercialize new products for the region and the world.”
This cutting-edge facility plays a crucial role in advancing sustainable CEA and indoor vertical farming, focusing on tackling the challenges of agriculture within the desert and arid climates. As part of the Abu Dhabi AgTech ecosystem, AeroFarms AgX collaborates with local companies and universities on research projects to develop new solutions for farming in extreme conditions.
Purdue University has just received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase seafood production in the United States. The funding will build a pilot-scale integrated aquaponics system to produce tilapia and lettuce. Aquaponics is a sustainable method of farming that combines aquaculture and hydroponics to intensively produce seafood and plants using less land and water than conventional food production. By using this system, Purdue researchers hope to reduce the United States’ dependence on imported seafood, which accounts for about 90% of all seafood consumed in the country.
One of the critical benefits of seafood is that it is healthier and more sustainably produced than land-based foods. Seafood is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals and can help to reduce harmful substances such as cholesterol and saturated fat. By increasing seafood production in the United States, Purdue researchers hope to make it easier for Americans to access these health benefits.
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