Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture Announces Launch of Online Community and Marketplace Media

Center of Excellence for Indoor AgricultureAfter leading a year-long study of two hundred indoor agriculture stakeholders that confirmed the need for a Center of Excellence, Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., cofounder and Executive Director is pleased to announce the launch of phase one of the Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture, which includes a membership-based networking platform and marketplace exchange web site that brings together 21st century farmers, entrepreneurs, technologists, suppliers, communities, universities, and government.

The goal of the Center is to accelerate growth and innovation in the industry through leadership, knowledge sharing, marketplace exchange, investment, programs and services, training, R&D, and advocacy. Phase two of its development includes raising capital and building a COE headquarters and technology demo facility in the greater Philadelphia area.

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture offers free Individual membership as well as paid Business and Institutional (e.g., university, non-profit, government) annual memberships based on size. Membership benefits include access to the following:

  • Social Networking Platform
  • Communities of Practice
  • The COE Indoor Agriculture Supplier Marketplace
  • Discounts on Products, Services, and Events
  • Access to Partner Programs for Energy Savings and Job Search
  • Access to an evolving library of Best Practices, Cases, Research, and Testing
  • Promotion of Products and Brands

All indoor agriculture stakeholders are encouraged to join and discounts on memberships are available through the end of 2019. All indoor agriculture stakeholders are encouraged to join and discounts on memberships are available through the end of 2019.

“We are really excited to launch the new online community,” according to Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., co-founder and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence. “The site offers an opportunity to create a highly networked community for indoor agriculture that is available to the members throughout the year. We expect it will help investors find farms to invest in, help growers find the products and services they need, highlight key conferences and events, and develop a knowledge base of best practices, solutions, cases, and research. We invite all types of indoor growers to participate regardless of technology or product type; e.g., from greenhouses to plant factories and from leafy greens to mushrooms.”

According to Michael Guttman, co-founder and Director of Sustainable Development for Kennett Township, “The recent launch of the Indoor Agriculture Center of Excellence marks a turning point in the industry’s history. From now on there will be a comprehensive one-stop platform that provides news, education, social networking, and e-commerce for the whole industry – vertical farms, greenhouses, and mushroom farms, as well as facilities builders, equipment manufacturers, and a wide variety of service providers. The possibilities are endless.”

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture anticipates building its presence in the greater Philadelphia area, which affords proximity to the “Mushroom Capital” of the U.S. in Southern Chester County, PA as well as Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, DC and New York. The area boasts advanced cold storage, packaging and distribution, a green-tech workforce, proximity to universities and schools, access to large consumer markets, and availability of land, capital and intellectual capital.

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