Marc Noyce and Brendan Condon
A modular, user-friendly, and extremely water efficient urban food growing system.
World food shortages and water shortages are increasing as global warming shifts traditional foodbowls and affects rainfall patterns. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. Malnutrition is caused by many factors including war, conflict, poverty and lack of education.
Biofilta’s innovation is a modular, water efficient urban food growing system that optimally provides over a week’s worth of water for vegetables while also providing aeration to the roots. The Foodwall system can be linked to form rows, stacked vertically to triple the growing area of any space and provide a typical capital payback period of less than 3 years based on the value of food produced. The low maintenance, high yield farms can be horizontal or vertical in design and utilize surplus rainwater runoff and food waste from urban environments for food production. The farms provide urban cooling effects to reduce the Urban Heat Island of cities and can simultaneously assist with reducing runoff and improving water quality.
Stage of Innovation: Growth/Expansion
Growing better food locally is a major goal for Biofilta. The Foodwall innovation allows more food to be grown with less water and space. Our innovation will promote recycling of organic waste to grow more food in the soil based Foodwall to help close the nutrient loop for urban food production. Growing food locally saves cost and creates healthier food that does not have to be imported or is grown using harmful pesticides and herbicides. Locally grown food is typically more nutritious because it is not grown with growth hormones as some commercial growers use and home grown food is therefore more nutrient dense. For us, the measure of success in urban food is to solve a problem that many people have and deliver a product or service that meets the need in a cost effective and attractive manner. Ultimately, it's the adoption of the product that measures commercial success.