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Every day, thousands of tonnes of organic waste are produced worldwide. At the same time, agriculture is too reliant on external and finite inputs, whilst generating side effects harmful to the health of human beings and their environment.

Organic waste is much more than waste: it is energy and nutrients. That’s where the potential lies.

Ecosystems are the best way to harness this potential and turn it into something of value. They always have been. Our approach is to connect the merits of different high-tech farming systems. We call it aquaponics, mushrooms, and insects – or AMI for short, pronounced like ‘Jamie’.

AMI’s Farm Lab is a group of researchers, entrepreneurs, and students. We believe that AMI systems can become the backbone of farming.

Connecting different systems to turn waste into food is no easy task. Sharing data, knowledge, and best practices is crucial to making AMI a reality. AMI’s Farm Lab is the online platform where this will happen.

The Collective

AMI’s farm lab is a collective of these beautiful people.

First Name Surname Organisation City Country
Zjef Van Acker Pad en Stoel / GroeiNEST Ghent Belgium
Alessandra Varotto Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation Padua Italy
Radu Giurgiu PlantGeek Cluj-Napoca Romania
Mark Horler Soya Project Glasgow Scotland
Seppe Salari SmartCrops B.V. Den Haag Netherlands
Alex van Tuyll MSc student in biosystems engineering / Green Spark Wageningen Netherlands
Jason Kiem SmartCrops B.V. Den Haag Netherlands
Gerson Foks SmartCrops B.V. Den Haag Netherlands
Jesse Turkstra SmartCrops B.V. Cluj-Napoca Netherlands
Rares Nistor PlantGeek Cluj-Napoca Romania
Voicu Stanese PlantGeek Cluj Romania
Marco Nervo PachaGreens / GroeiNEST Ghent Belgium
Algeron Waterschoot GroeiNEST Ghent Belgium
Bart Van Tuykom Pad en Stoel Ghent Belgium
Joachim Sohie Pad en Stoel Antwerp Belgium
Antonio Di Giovanni Funghi Expresso Florence Italy
Frederik Lean Hansen CPH Footech Community / Kopenhagen Denmark
Rasmus Bjerngaard CPH Footech Community / Kopenhagen Denmark
Alex Hanssens Escargand Ghent Belgium

A Brief History of AMI's Farm Lab

It all started during the early days of the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF). Back then, a team came together to discuss the biggest challenge vertical farming was (and, in 2018, still is) facing: the ridiculous amount of energy used by vertical farming. Currently, less than 5% of global energy is produced renewably. As a result, vertical farming is still far away from being able to produce food sustainably.

The team came up with a simple idea: what if, like permaculture, controlled-environment agriculture acted as an ecosystem? What if we could connect the inputs and outputs of each closed farming system in such a way that with a minimum amount of resources and energy, the ecosystem could produce much more food than any of the separate systems ever could?

This idea is based on the same principle as aquaponics – except with more guests at the party. The team called it AMI (pronounced ‘AY-mee’): aquaponics, mushrooms, and insects.

That year, AMI was released to the public through infographics displayed at the 2016 AVF Summit in Amsterdam. The idea was such a success that the AMI team carried on, with a white paper presenting the scientific background of AMI systems. This was released in September 2017 and can be found here.

The AMI team is now ready for the next step: professionalising this research and backing up the theory with experimental data. With this long-term project, we hope to help farmers all over the world improve the financial and ecological sustainability of their farms.

A win-win-win for all.

Join us!

The original video-Team

zjef van acker

Zjef Van Acker

a.k.a. Prince Charming
Charms everyone into telling their story

Lou De Buck

Lou De Buck

a.k.a. the almighty Princess of video
The one that gets the work done

Thibault Verougstraete

Thibault Verougstraete

a.k.a. Prince Thiberius
the one that makes all things look pretty

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