BOSTON, May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Freight Farms, a leading pioneer in containerized farming, today announced that it has received a NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant. Freight Farms will work alongside Clemson University to explore the development of a Self-Sustaining Crop Production Unit (SSCPU) for both NASA applications in deep space, as well as for the commercial market by providing a secure source of food regardless of climate, terrain, energy infrastructure, or available land.
NASA's Ames Research Center in California manages the STTR grant program, which encourages small businesses and research institutions to conduct federal research and industrial commercialization by enabling them to explore technological potential and providing the incentive to profit from new commercial products and services.
"It's an honor to be selected by NASA to expand the potential of agricultural technologies and develop new applications for our products," said Jon Friedman President and Co-Founder of Freight Farms. "NASA and Clemson are excellent partners to fuel our company mission to grow food anywhere and build the infrastructure for the next generation of farming, no matter what planet that may be on."
Through the development of an off-grid crop production unit, Freight Farms will directly support NASA's goals of deep space exploration through manned missions. The proposed innovations could also be applied to other industries in need of a stable food supply, such as disaster relief, military bases, mining and offshore industries, or remote living in harsh climates. On-site food production reduces cost and security risk of transport, food spoilage due to travel, and any dependency on traditional logistics.
Joshua Summers, a professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University, said he looks forward to collaborating with Freight Farms on the project. "The research could help feed hungry people here on Earth, while helping inspire the next generation of engineers to literally reach for the stars," he said. "What's more, we'll be doing it sustainably, and we have a high chance of producing a commercial product. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this."
About Freight Farms:
Freight Farms provides physical and digital solutions for creating local produce ecosystems on a global scale. The company's flagship product, The Leafy Green Machine, is a complete hydroponic growing system assembled inside an upcycled shipping container and capable of producing a variety of lettuces, herbs and hearty greens. Launched in 2010, Freight Farms is eliminating the negative effects of large-scale food production and distribution by creating year-round, sustainable access to local, fresh produce in any environment. For more information, please visit: http://www.freightfarms.com/.
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About Clemson University:
Ranked No. 21 among national public universities, Clemson University is a major, land-grant, science- and engineering-oriented research university that maintains a strong commitment to teaching and student success. Clemson is an inclusive, student-centered community characterized by high academic standards, a culture of collaboration, school spirit and a competitive drive to excel.
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SOURCE Freight Farms