The construction of Vineland’s new Collaborative Greenhouse Technology Centre is complete. There are only a few pre-commercial scale research greenhouses in North America and Vineland’s greenhouse is the largest focused on horticulture research with a footprint of 40,000 square feet (3,700 square metres) or approximately one acre. The greenhouse creates a space that brings companies, industry and researchers together to foster collaboration and drive economic growth by bridging the gap between innovation and commercialization.
The $2.2 billion horticulture industry in Ontario is made up of almost $1.6 billion from the greenhouse sector. Greenhouse horticulture produces as much as seven times higher yields with greater consistency. The greenhouse production environment is tightly controlled allowing mitigation of weather, climate, pest and disease issues. Ontario has about 1,150 greenhouse operations and a total area of 3,200 acres under glass. There is a spin-off from the work and collaboration at Vineland to the more than $5 billion Canadian horticulture industry.
Vineland's robotics and automation program's main objective is to design automation technology in an indoor environment for the greenhouse sector. Trials underway with greenhouse partners are showing promising results. The program is further enhanced within Vineland’s new greenhouse, creating a large pre-commercial setting for constant innovation and collaboration.
- Vegetable section: 7-metre height and two houses measuring 540 square metres each
- Flower section: 5-metre height and 11 houses of varying sizes for a total of 1,080 square metres
- High pressure sodium lighting in the flower section
- Below-ground trenching for reduce shading
- Temperature and humidity controllable throughout the greenhouse
- Standard Venlo design with insulated glass sidewalls and Header House (the nerve centre of the environmental control system)