Indoor agriculture to accompany the transition of territories
Faced with the growth of the world's population, the demand for food is increasing, natural resources are being depleted, the surface area of soils is shrinking and their fertility is deteriorating, water supply is becoming critical, etc. The preservation of environments and resources is therefore a priority among the UN's sustainable development objectives. In addition to this situation, climate change requires agriculture to meet the challenges of agro-ecological, food and energy transitions that our societies are facing.
In this context, the "Indoor Culture & Resiliences" Research and Innovation Chair seals the merger of two entities: Jungle, a specialist in vertical farms, and the Institut Polytechnique UniLaSalle, a higher education and research school. Their common objective is to consolidate the scientific references necessary for optimizing production under controlled conditions.
This involves :
- to study the effect of the determining environmental factors in plant growth (nutrient environments and climates) ;
- to select and analyze the relative performances of different varieties according to their purpose (food and non-food);
- to consolidate the technical and economic data of these alternative productions, particularly with regard to potential energy costs.
A diversity of productions to be investigated according to the stakes
If the environmental interests of indoor agriculture on the issue of water (70% to 90% reduction), the absence of the use of phytosanitary products and the quality of products are undeniable, it also offers great socio-economic prospects for the sectors (securing supplies), for farmers (securing income), for citizens and territories (proximity and autonomy).
The challenges of indoor growing
Securing farmers' income through the production of plants with high economic added value
Feeding people and fighting global warming
Secure the supply of raw materials
Innovate and develop plant productions of nutritional, gastronomic and cosmetic interest
Three complementary thematic pillars
- Proposing innovative productions and associated technical itineraries. To define the favorable growth conditions, the optimal yields and the productivity of the cultural system.
- Analyze the influence of technological factors (nutrient environments, temperatures, lighting, etc.) on the state of crops according to expectations (taste and/or smell quality of a product, activation of a metabolic voice, etc.).
- Identify, understand and demonstrate the interest of new sensors and develop references in imaging for the monitoring of growth and traceability of productions in a perspective of automation.
Making the abundant benefits of plants accessible to as many people as possible.
Created in 2016 by Gilles Dreyfus and Nicolas Seguy, Jungle is the largest vertical farm in France. Its unique system of cultivation in a controlled environment allows it to produce more than 100 tons of plants, flowers and aromatic herbs each year for consumers, distributors, agricultural and cosmetic actors.