When The Ohio State University opened its new Controlled Environment Agriculture Complex (CEARC) on Friday, September 30, it represented a culmination of efforts between the school and industry. Companies such as Nationwide Insurance, Current (formerly GE Current), Priva and General Hydroponics (to name a few) made donations of both money and product.
The current provided LED grow lighting for the four chambers that will be used to grow vine crops, berries, and leafy greens at the CEARC, while Hort Americas handled the lighting layout, design, and planning. The 48,989-square-foot CEARC will provide a platform for interdisciplinary research at the nexus of horticulture, engineering, entomology, pathology, food science, computer science, and human nutrition/health.
"This is an important project for the industry because of the cutting-edge research, teaching, and job training that will be conducted at this facility," said Chris Higgins, Hort America's president and co-founder. "We're also excited because this is a way to prepare students to enter directly into the commercial horticulture workforce."
CEARC researchers will explore new methods for improving nutrient density and flavor in vegetables and fruits, as well as optimizing harvesting and controlling insects and pests. In addition, clinical studies will be done to examine the efficacy of enhanced nutritional value in the human diet.
In appreciation for Current's support, the CEARC's lobby is named the Arize Lobby. Arize is Current's world-class LED lighting brand.
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Ohio State University
Chris Higgins, CEO