Urban Farming Startup Infarm Launches Cloud-Connected Growing Centers
Israeli-founded urban farming startup Infarm, a developer of vertical farms with IoT technologies and machine learning capabilities, announced the launch of new high-capacity Growing Centers for fresh produce. The Growing Center would serve as a local farm and distribution center in one, and can generate the crop-equivalent of up to 10,000 m2 of farmland, with up to 400 times higher efficient food production than soil-based agriculture, according to the company.
A Growing Center is comprised of dozens of modular farming units, each standing between 10 and 18 meters high, occupying a 25 m2 ground footprint and requiring just six weeks to build, yielding the crop-equivalent of 10,000 m2 of farmland.
The company said it plans to establish 100 Growing Centers by 2025, with 15 Infarm Growing Centers already planned or under construction in major urban centers, including London, Paris, Copenhagen, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, and Tokyo.
The deployment capability of these Growing Centers “will drive additional global growth and scalability to match the needs of retailers of any size in any location,” Infarm said in a statement.
The new centers join Infarm’s expanding global network of self-learning farms that the company says improve plant yield, taste, and nutritional value around the world. These urban farms are available in 10 countries and 30 cities in thousands of supermarkets, distribution centers, and restaurants, including in France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the UK, Denmark, and Canada with supermarkets such as Irma (Denmark), Marks and Spencer (UK), Metro (Europe) and Edeka (Germany).
The vertical farms are hooked up with smart devices connected to the cloud that monitor plant health and resource consumption. They integrate engineering, software, and agritech to reduce labor, land, water, and energy costs while also creating a more sustainable food system.
Infarm was founded in 2013 by Israeli brothers Erez and Guy Galonska and Osnat Michaeli, and is based in Berlin.
“The entire Infarm network is connected to a central farming brain that gathers more than 50,000 growth, color and spectral data points through a plant’s lifetime” said Guy Galonska, co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO). “We’ve collected more than 300 billion data points throughout our farming network to date. These data enable us to perfect our growing recipes and improve yield, quality and nutritional value, while reducing the production price constantly.”
Erez Galonska, who serves as CEO, said “access to fresh, local and sustainable food is a growing challenge, as people shift towards cities and climate change accelerates.”
“Today we’re adding speed to scale with new technology that allows us to deploy a Growing Center to any city in the world in a fraction of the time, space and capital investment of most large-scale farming solutions today. Both the farms and the software that powers them were designed to make fresh food more accessible for everyone, everywhere,” he added.