Open source means that the copyright holder allows users the rights to study, change, and distribute software to anyone and for any purpose. Open source for many IT companies is considered to be a somewhat important part of their strategy, since it allows for more flexible development and quicker innovation. What if the concepts associated with open source technology were adapted by the controlled environment agriculture industry?
“Most of the current systems/technologies in the plant factory with artificial lighting (PFAL)/vertical farm/indoor ag industry are similar to each other with most applications coming from the greenhouse or conventional hydroponic industry,” said Eri Hayashi, vice president and director of international relations and consulting at the Japan Plant Factory Association (JPFA). “As we are still in the initial stage of a promising indoor ag industry, we need more opportunities for knowledge/experience sharing, standardization, education and collaboration to move the industry forward. More importantly, we need a more distributed network for innovation to work together to develop new innovation.
“In Japan, after years of industry experience, things are changing becoming more collaborative. Many companies are realizing that they will need to work together as an industry while at the same time running their own businesses.”