Tech Bundle

Urban Farming

Post Harvest Agriculture Protection using Microbiome Engineering
Post-harvest spoilage is a significant problem along the supply chain which results in great profit losses. Fungal infestation and mould growth are some of the common reasons for food waste and nutrition loss due to post-harvest degradation. Common post-harvest treatment includes unsustainable and excessive use of chemicals which can lead to contamination of the environment and our food. Microbes associated with the plants and soil have co-evolved to confer beneficial traits to their plant counterparts. This technology relates to a highly effective and fully natural solution that exploits the plant microbiome for bio-based plant protection to increase the storability of fruits and vegetables. For example, the microbiome of microalgae can also be with beneficial microorganisms to increase the yield and reliability of algae growth in bioreactors. Moreover, microbiome tracking can be utilized to identify entry points of microbial contaminations. This technology provider is seeking research collaboration with farmers to implement this solution for both soil-based and hydroponics agriculture.   
Extension of Crop Harvest Period Through Customised LED Light Recipes
The majority of the local indoor farmers grow crops that are harvested for their leaves. One way to increase the growth rate of such leafy greens is to provide a longer period of light. However, some of the crops grown, e.g., spinach, are long-day plants that flower when the light periods are longer than their critical day-length. While important to a plant’s life cycle, this vegetative to reproductive phase change is undesirable for farmers, not only because it shortens the harvest period hence reducing the yield, but also because it changes the taste profile. To tackle this problem, a light recipe that was able to suppress flowering was formulated. Plants grown under this light recipe showed a faster growth rate than those grown under flowering-suppressing short-day photoperiod. Moreover, they do not flower even when the light period has surpassed the critical day-length. Positive results were obtained when this light recipe was tested on spinach and arugula. This technology would work for other long-day crops, and it will be beneficial to indoor farmers who are interested to try it.
Living Plant Installations
Living Plant Installations is an integrally unique way of interacting with the vegetal environment. By converting plants into biological switches, we can activate lights, sounds, music, videos, and a myriad of other devices by touching plant leaves. Applications in smart cities, architecture, domotics, experiential marketing, events, and city spaces.   Video:
Novel Compounds that Keep Plant Fresh: Controlling Stomatal Aperture
Stomata are small pores present on the surface of leaves, which are opened or closed under the control of a pair of guard cells for gas exchange with the atmosphere. Through these pores, plants uptake the carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis and release water by transpiration, which enhances uptake of nutrients from the roots. Therefore, regulation of stomatal openings is essential for plant growth as well as survival in response to various environmental conditions. Through random screening of a chemical library of over 20,000 compounds, the technology provider has succeeded in finding new compounds that can control stomatal opening in plants. Analysis of stomatal closing compounds (SCLs) revealed that they inhibit the signaling components between the blue light receptor phototropin and the plasma membrane proton ATPase (PM H+ -ATPase), thus inhibiting light-induced activation of PM H+ -ATPase and leading to suppression of stomatal opening. Some of the compounds have shown to prevent leaves from drying up and suppress wilting when sprayed onto rose and oat leaves. The beauty of a chemistry-based approach instead of classical genetic techniques is that SCLs can be applied very easily to all plants. It also circumvents GMOs regulation.
Agricultural Sensors Powered by the Soil
Every day, the use of sensors in agriculture becomes more widespread. Sensors are used to measure climate conditions and soil parameters (such as humidity and pH), to predict crop yields and to identify potential dangers. Chemical batteries are the most common solution for the storage of energy in smart agriculture systems. They exhibit short lifetimes and must be replaced at least every 12 months under normal conditions. There is no reliable alternative to chemical storage in the market today. Solar panels have often been put forward as the sustainable power source of choice for remote sensing, however, they require constant maintenance resulting in high operating costs, and their connection to the sensors by cable is simply too expensive. Furthermore, all alternative solutions are either too expensive (wiring systems) or get easily deteriorated over time (piezoelectric) due to the harsh conditions, including dust, floods, and oxidation of internal components. This renders such solutions unreliable as power sources for periods of more than 2-3 months, making them unsuitable for remote monitoring in the majority of agricultural settings.  Our product is a ground-breaking sensing solution that completely eradicates the problem with powering agricultural sensors. 
A Decentralized Urban Farming IoT System
This Internet of Things (IoT) software architecture addresses a decentralized framework to provide the ability to exchange data between IoT devices autonomously without any centralized server. In recent years, the development of IoT applications has become increasingly complex. Thus, our technology addresses this problem by providing the ability to simplify the streaming of data to the IoT platforms over the web. The IoT platform is designed to assist the modern-day farmers in monitoring the entire farm seamlessly. It can be customized to suit each farm depending on the type of sensors, machine vision camera, cloud storage, etc. Equipped with detailed data tracking and analytics to provide the most accurate growth process from start to finish. This design can be customized for other applications.