Illumitex Collaborates with the Association for Vertical Farming to Sponsor First Global Vertical Farming Award

Illumitex is sponsoring the Vertical Farming Award, an innovative global competition for university students to collaborate and create a vertical farming design concept. The Association for Vertical Farming, an international non-profit focused on advancing the vertical farming industry, is the competition organizer.

To be eligible for the award, candidates must be currently enrolled at a university or has graduated in the past six months. Teams can be a maximum of five people but they are not required to reside in the same location. Team submissions must be entered by April 4, 2016. The winning team will receive $5,000 and a trip to GreenTech 2016 in Amsterdam.

“The main difference with our contest is that this contest is global. Our hope is to inspire a new generation of vertical farmers through the competition,” said Henry Gordon-Smith, Vice Chair at The Association for Vertical Farming.

Illumitex is committed to empowering the younger generation and future horticultural growers; this competition is a perfect way to impact incoming growers. Director of Research and Development at Illumitex, Rebecca Knight PhD, shares her excitement about the competition. “From Ghana to Bolivia, we are reaching students globally and by utilizing new technology, interdisciplinary student teams are able to collaborate with experts in vertical farming.”

Each team will need to complete milestones that will include a master teacher for a specific topic. The milestones include four webinars held weekly to help each team create their vertical farming plan, step by step. Topics include site selection, crop selection, lighting and design. Teams will submit their final project on May 13, 2016.

“Through working in the vertical farming industry the last 6-7 years, there is a major disconnect between growers, farmers, designers and architects. This competition will be a great opportunity for all professionals in the different niches to work together and create new ideas,” said Paul Hardej, Horticulture Sales Manager of Vertical Farming/Turn-Key Solutions.

The winning teams will be announced on May 30th on the Association for Vertical Farming Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The 1st prize winner will receive the Innovation Award, sponsored by Illumitex.

The team leader of the winning team will attend the AVF summit, held in Amsterdam and will be given the opportunity to hear from AVF’s global network including operators, technologies, thought leaders, etc. The “father” of vertical farming, Dickson Despommier, will spend time with the student and receive a signed copy of his book.

The winner will attend GreenTech to visit hundreds of booths and network with representatives in the horticulture technology field. Then the winner will present their winning concept during the conference.

“Vertical farming is a challenge to conduct successfully but this competition serves as a great platform for collaboration within teams that can be fun and educational,” states Smith.

To complete team registration, visit: award.vertical-farming.net