US (PA): Feasibility study for a Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

Barisoft Consulting Group is performing a feasibility study for a Center of Excellence (COE) for Indoor Ag on behalf of Kennett Township (PA). Indoor agriculture is a means of growing vegetables such as lettuces, strawberries, basil and other leafy greens indoors under controlled environmental conditions. Nearly $500 million dollars of venture capital has gone into the industry in the past five years. Indoor Ag is predicted to be a multi-billion industry and to forever change the way we grow food.

The project is currently in the data collection phase. Methods of data collection include interviews with indoor agriculture industry executives, senior university administrators, and local and state government officials. An online survey is also being distributed to select segments of the industry and to local leaders.

The data collection phase will be completed by January 2018. More information about the study can be found at:

According to Dr. Stein, the principal investigator of the study, “We are excited to conduct this study of the feasibility of setting up a Center of Excellence for Indoor Ag. If found to be feasible, we expect the Center of Excellence to accelerate the commercialization of indoor agriculture and to help these businesses reach profitability sooner.”

The Center of Excellence would serve as a national hub and knowledge base for indoor agriculture investment, production, operations, distribution, research & development and provide training and workforce development in indoor agriculture.

The primary sponsor of the study is Kennett Township (PA). Kennett Square Borough (PA) and New Garden Township (PA) are also sponsors. This region is considered to be the “Mushroom Capital” of the U.S and is located just outside of Philadelphia.

Dr. Eric W. Stein is an Associate Professor of Business at Penn State and CEO of Barisoft Consulting Group. Dr. Stein has a Ph.D. in Managerial Science from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Physics from Amherst College. He has published numerous books, articles and academic papers related to business and served as a consultant to private and public organizations.

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