California, United States, La Jolla
Theme/Year: Food Systems 2016
Category: Open Challenge
Status: Award Winner
The high rate of population growth and lack of agricultural technology in developing countries have made food security an increasingly prominent issue. The majority of our current agricultural system is run by the mass production of single crops, a process known as monoculture. Massive farms use huge plots of land to grow crops that are sent across the world through the food supply chain. These crops are then used to feed our ever-growing population. The specific problems of modern agriculture we attempt to solve are lack of space, massive water consumption, loss of soil and declining soil nutrient quality, limited food accessibility, high cost of healthy food, and pest and disease control. Inspired by microbial communities, specifically cyanobacteria, Evolution’s Solution has developed ANSA, a product that will change the way we think about agriculture by effectively using space, sustainably consuming water and eliminating the use of soil while maintaining nutrient quality and therefore bringing healthy food closer to homes. Cyanobacteria are the most efficient, diverse and successful microorganism on the planet. The success of this microorganism, in large part, is due to a photosynthetic inner membrane. Mimicking the bacteria’s “food” producing photosynthetic inner membrane, we have designed a multi compartmental growing space that uses solar powered LED lights as the primary energy source. The LOOP extracts nutrients from compost through a series of filters where the nutrients are then used to feed our multi-layer, poly-culture hydroponic unit. By reducing the need for constant water input, synthetic fertilizers, and fossil fuel, ANSA will provide an economical, sustainable, and readily accessible way to provide healthy and organic food for populations with limited resources and a high demand for food. Communities affected by natural disaster, political displacement, social disparities and compromised living conditions are our primary targets.