About Lite + Fog
- Founder: Martin Peter
- Founded in: 2019
- Employees: 8
- Money raised: 2 million euros
- Ultimate goal: Introduce a new agricultural concept that brings economy and movement to vertical farming.
How do you grow food in – or next to – a city without using land? The answer from the Berlin startup Lite + Fogis: fog. In this section of today’s start-up, Martin Peter, co-founder of the company, talks about the great ambitions he has for his company. “I see the plants growing as we do this interview,” Peter says enthusiastically.
What does Lite + Fog do?
“We combine several innovations and our own solutions into an agricultural concept that will make vertical agriculture profitable. With Lite + Fog, we want to give vertical farmers more value, cheaper cultivation systems and increase the content of their crops compared to traditional hydroponics. “
“Our first product, Model M, is a botanical laboratory for fogponics. The great advantage of fogponics is that no sprinklers, pipes or soil are needed to feed the plants. We use a suspension of nutrient-enriched water. We feed this suspension to the plants. roots by dispersing small, liquid droplets using ultrasound.This is optimal for the plants and provides an extra boost of oxygen.Model M is 3 meters high, 2 meters wide and 1 meter deep and can hold 450 plants or more on rotating plant boxes It also offers a fully controlled environment where you can grow any plant you want, even very rare.It is fully automated and AI-driven to learn and deliver optimal growth conditions, and with sensors and cameras on board, researchers can gain remote insight into , how the plants grow. “
What makes Lite + Fog so unique?
“Of course our fog created by ultrasonic waves. I can not say more about that, it is a trade secret how we can do it on a large scale. Then there is the rotation, which is important to bring our growing pillars very close to each other and for to save a lot of energy.They are made of flexible fabric and have a hollow interior, which makes them very easy to handle.Thus, we can use four times more space than other vertical nurseries, which is accompanied by lower energy consumption and lower material costs For example, replacing all the steel – which accounts for up to eighty percent of the cost of setting up nurseries – by using ordinary textiles. ”
What problem does Lite + Frog solve?
“Vertical cultivation systems have always been too expensive. We work on the technology and want to make it affordable. So food can be grown all over the world. With our technology, farmers need 95 percent less water, no pesticides and less fertilizer, and plants can grow year-round. That should lead to cheaper and healthier food. ”
“If you consider that one of our farms creates 75 times more surface area to cultivate than an ordinary field and can harvest all year round, we can create 400 times more food in the same place – without harming the environment.”
Do you also address other sectors?
“In addition to the agricultural sector, we also focus on the pharmaceutical industry. For example, Biontech will make vaccines for specific patients, which is a very targeted and small-scale production that can only be made with plants. Or take, for example, scientists we spoke to last year. They needed a very special plant species that only grows in Australia, for their research into cancer treatment. It took a lot of time and money to get the plants to Europe, and when they got there, they were rotten. With our technology we can solve that problem and just grow the plant here in Europe. After all, there are a lot of industries that work with plants, including companies that grow meat. They need the growth factors that plants, for example, can provide. ”
Where do you want to be in five years?
“We are still working on our prototypes. In early 2023 we will have a model that measures six times six meters and is large enough for an apartment building. In five years we will build a 1000 square meter farm. In the longer term, “We are moving to giant productions. In the future, eating food from vertical farms will become the standard.”