HAPI Aims to Bring Community-Scale Food Production Facilities to ColumbusAnnouncements — By Susan Post on January 6, 2014 at 8:00 am
Scaleable food production platform, HAPI is aiming to expand their reach in the Columbus community. The project launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goals of further developing their prototyping facility and building community-scale food production facilities.
HAPI currently operates out of a test room at the Columbus Idea Foundry. Part of the funds from the campaign will go towards expanding into a new space. Founder Tyler Reed is eager for more area to venture into new foods. While prototypes currently provide Reed with plants like kale, green and red lettuces, stevia and strawberries, aquaponics can also be used for edibles like mushrooms and even fish.
“As the team gains more experience, tools and techniques, the vision expands,” Reed says.
However, the main goal of the campaign is to build community-scale food production facilities, with the first being in Columbus. To build such a facility, HAPI will partner with other local food-growing organizations. The partner will then provide the space, and HAPI will set up the grow systems and automation equipment necessary to help crops thrive. Automating certain processes can provide workers relief from constant monitoring, watering and caring for crops.
Costs for a facility are estimated at $10,000, which means for each increment earned, HAPI can build another facility. Backers will be able to vote on additional locations for production facilities as the funding allows.
Overall, HAPI is focused on bringing agriculture to urban areas across the world.
“The things we create are globally applicable at the local level,” Reed says.
HAPI releases all of their code and designs under open-source licensing, making their concepts easily accessible to be appplied.
“Anybody can take the code and use it to make their own automation system,” Reed continues.
While a successful Kickstarter campaign means HAPI would build more of the technology themselves, HAPI is ready for people who want to explore on their own. For example, the team recently created a vertical growing system that holds 96 plants and only takes up 9 feet of floor space. Reed plans to release the CAD drawings of the structure so others can soon take advantage of the design.
For more information, visit hapihq.com.