Part II SBIR grant will present seed funding for R&D and commercialization

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Heliponix LLC, doing enterprise as anu™ (previously gropod®), has been awarded a Part II National Science Foundation Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) grant for 970,993 and75,000 in matching funding from Elevate Ventures.

Anu will proceed its analysis and growth work on multispectral photomorphogenesis that’s now being deployed along side deep-learning, computer-vision algorithms inside its novel rotary aeroponic cultivation chambers. It was previously awarded an NSF SBIR Part I grant of 256,000, along with50,000 in matching funding from Elevate Ventures. An internet video reveals the expertise in use.

Anu was established six years in the past by two undergraduate college students in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute who had been engaged on a NASA-funded analysis research at Purdue College. The analysis sought to optimize the photosynthetic effectivity of rising lettuce in a controlled-environment hydroponic chamber for astronauts to develop crops extra effectively in area. By manipulating the spectrum of LED mild on the lettuce crops, the analysis workforce, led by Cary Mitchell, a professor of horticulture in the Faculty of Agriculture, noticed a rise in yields whereas concurrently decreasing the system’s power consumption.

Analysis workforce members Scott Massey and Ivan Ball, co-founders of anu, noticed a chance to additional improve yields and reduce power consumption. Their revolutionary design, referred to as the Rotary Aeroponic™ Cultivation Chamber, which has a number of patents pending, produces greater yields by means of its novel mechanical design coupled with a novel management algorithm facilitated by means of proprietary cloud software program.

“Through decentralized, in-home production of produce, the wasteful inefficiencies and environmental destruction attributed to industrialized agriculture are eliminated, while simultaneously delivering maximum freshness, flavor and nutritional value directly to consumers conveniently,” mentioned anu CEO Massey. “Produce is harvested when consumers are hungry rather than everything being harvested at the same time, which requires preservation of the produce. It simply stays alive and fresh until it’s eaten. The anu team is now composed of more than 20 team members and continues to rapidly grow.”

Massey mentioned the Part I SBIR grant from the NSF supported anu’s “light recipe” analysis to maximise plant progress yields, dietary content material and power effectivity inside the proprietary Rotary Aeroponic Cultivation Chambers.

“We are now deploying those discoveries into our Phase II deep-learning, computer-vision system to commercialize an autonomous cultivation system for consumers to sustainably eliminate their dependency on grocery stores for eligible produce varieties without preexisting horticultural knowledge required,” Massey mentioned. “Our ‘Keurig for plants’ commercialization strategy empowers consumers to grow their own Pure Produce® that is more food safe, free of any pesticides and/or preservatives, and has much less environmental impact than industrial agriculture. This accomplishment is a giant leap forward as this century’s Victory Gardens will unite to become the world’s largest farm without owning a single acre of land.”

As a frontrunner in tunable horticultural analysis lighting programs, the Lighting Enabled Programs and Functions (LESA) Middle of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has and continues to work with Anu to offer research-grade, multispectral, tunable LED modules and related programmable management programs suitable with Heliponix’s rotary chamber. These modules are primarily based on the LESA Middle’s TIGER horticulture analysis lighting modules and can present the analysis flexibility wanted in Part II to optimize the LED illumination affect on plant progress variables in leafy greens together with biomass, crop yield, dietary content material and power effectivity.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” mentioned Andrea Belz, division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

As soon as a small enterprise is awarded a Part II SBIR/STTR grant, as much as 1 million, it turns into eligible to obtain as much as500,000 in extra matching funds with qualifying third-party funding or gross sales.

Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Undertaking Pitch will know inside three weeks in the event that they meet the program’s goals to assist revolutionary applied sciences that present promise of economic and/or societal affect and contain a degree of technical danger. Small companies with revolutionary science and expertise options, and business potential are inspired to use. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, often known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, bear a rigorous merit-based overview course of. To study extra about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, go to:

About the Lighting Enabled Programs & Functions (LESA) Middle

The LESA Middle at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a graduated National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Analysis Middle. LESA is an interdisciplinary, R&D heart creating “Systems that Think­­.™” It’s devoted to creating autonomous clever programs to deal with fashionable challenges in the constructed atmosphere, together with managed atmosphere agriculture (CEA).  To study extra please go to

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Based in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological analysis college. Rensselaer encompasses 5 colleges, over 30 analysis facilities, greater than 140 tutorial applications together with 25 new applications, and a dynamic neighborhood made up of over 6,800 college students and 104,000 residing alumni. Rensselaer college and alumni embody upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Corridor of Fame, six National Medal of Know-how winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of expertise advancing scientific and technological information, Rensselaer stays centered on addressing world challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To study extra, please go to

About Purdue College

Purdue College is a high public analysis establishment creating sensible options to at present’s hardest challenges. Ranked in every of the final 5 years as one among the 10 Most Revolutionary universities in the United States by U.S. Information & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing analysis and out-of-this-world discovery. Dedicated to hands-on and on-line, real-world studying, Purdue provides a transformative training to all. Dedicated to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most charges at 2012-13 ranges, enabling extra college students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue by no means stops in the persistent pursuit of the subsequent big leap at

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Enterprise Packages

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards 200 million yearly to startups and small companies, reworking scientific discovery into services with business and societal affect. Startups working throughout virtually all areas of science and expertise can obtain as much as1.75 million to assist analysis and growth (R&D), serving to de-risk expertise for business success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated by means of the Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) program. The NSF is an unbiased federal company with a price range of about $8.1 billion that helps basic analysis and training throughout all fields of science and engineering.

Media contact: Steve Martin, 

Sources:  Scott Massey,

Andrea Belz

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The Obsessed Guy
Hi, I'm The Obsessed Guy and I am passionate about artificial intelligence. I have spent years studying and working in the field, and I am fascinated by the potential of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. I love exploring how these technologies are being used to solve real-world problems and am always eager to learn more. In my spare time, you can find me tinkering with neural networks and reading about the latest AI research.


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