Gaia Project Australia Leafy Green CEA Farm

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The Problem/Idea
The United Nations outlined Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that will aid in reducing climate change. However, due to unpredictable weather patterns, global warming is already responsible for decreased food security. In short, inclement weather leads to poor crop yields and insecure food systems, which SDG 2, no poverty, hopes to address. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) separates our food from the weather, with fully enclosed farms controlling all inputs and outputs (95% less water, 70& less fertilizer, no pesticides/herbicides), regardless of the climate.

Benefits of Idea
Gaia Project Australia (GPA) has developed a CEA leafy green farm that protects crops from inclement weather, pests, and pathogens, while boasting 40% higher yields when compared to any other farm on the planet. Our patented NFT channels are manufactured from recycled HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) plastics. Recycling our waste into viable solutions for food security also adheres to the circular economy paradigm.

Design of Idea
Potential benefits include improved food security, access to safe nutritional food for all, reduced pressure on freshwater resources, less strain on non-renewable fertilizers, soil rejuvenation, equality of opportunity for new farmers (50% of AgTech farmers have no previous experience and 50% of those are female) and finding uses for materials bound for the rubbish tip.

Idea function
Re-imagining how we plant our crops, from fixed planting to adjustable spacing. Our patented NFT channel expands as the plant grows, keeping plants close together through all growth stages and minimizing space in-between. This results in a 40% minimum yield increase for all CEA farms, and for LED-powered farms, it decreases energy consumption per plant by 50%.

Novel Solution
Our patented IP is the first bi-directional NFT channel. It outperforms (by 40% increase in yield) any other CEA farm currently available. This innovative discovery was bolstered by NASA’s Deep Space Food Challenge, with GPA winning the International Innovation Prize, solidifying our design as robust and the favourite.

Application
GPA's solution for leafy greens can range from rural commercial production to bespoke vertical farms inside any CBD. With our unique value proposition, CEA farms can now penetrate any location as overheads and unit prices are reduced to make our produce competitive with traditional farming prices.

Market Potential
Leafy greens are a 2.1 trillion-dollar industry, with CEA solutions making up 40 billion USD. Unfortunately, high unit prices in CEA farms reduce the market penetration of that larger pie. Still, our system allows unit prices to drop, enabling the produce to be competitive with that larger market while protecting food security.

Manufacturing
The manufacturing process of the NFT channels would include extrusion and injection moulding, with aluminium extrusion for the aluminium frame that houses the channels. Our channels have already been tested and manufacturing partners identified with robust suppliers for plastics and aluminium.

Marketplace Comparison
This is a blue ocean product, although it does 'look' like other channels, its bi-directional nature in its design separates it from the traditional NFT channel cohort. Hence, doubling the yield when compared to other competitors.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Nadun Hennayaka
  • Type of entry:
    team
    Team members:
    Founder & CEO Nadun Hennayaka
    COO Adrian Cosmos-Jones
    Environmental Officer/Market Analyst Mike Bridges
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Nadun is inspired by:
    To help humans exist in harmony with our ecosystems, we must put less pressure on our natural systems
  • Software used for this entry:
    Fusion 360, CAD
  • Patent status:
    pending