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Abstract

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) allows food plants to be reproducibly grown under conditions of optimal light, temperature, nutrition, and pest control. Space requirements are minimal, and so CEA is ideal for urban areas. Benefits are clear, but the long term economic viability of this new agricultural system is uncertain. We formalize the strategy space for innovation in CEA and discuss the extent to which it is served by investments in public sector agricultural research. We also present a unifying model of the relationship between the organoleptic and other food attributes desired by consumers and the suites of component technologies and business models capable of delivering these attributes via CEA.

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