Affinor has several business development projects to help execute our plan.
University of the Fraser Valley - BioPod Agriculture Research Facility
A single beta prototype 4 level tower was installed April 2016 at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) BioPod agriculture research and development location in Surrey BC. Ever-bearing strawberries were planted as the test crop to conduct a series of trials to develop crop models including: soil mediums, irrigation systems, pruning and harvesting techniques, appropriate supplemental lighting, temperature, strain selection and environmental conditions to sustain year round harvesting.
Initial results over the summer of 2016 were positive with over 130 pounds harvested within the short summer season using the small prototype equipment proving the technology's ability to grow high quality fruit. Continuing the trials, new strains of strawberries have been planted in March 2017 with new crop model inputs specifically designed for the equipment to increase yields. Results will be posted at the end of the growing season fall 2017.
Affinor has also installed a new second prototype tower within the BioPod agriculture research and development center as of March 2017. The new tower will double the number of plants holding 256 with the same footprint as the first tower. For context: a typical strawberry field farm plant density is 0.7 plants per square foot. Affinor's first prototype tower increased the plant density to 1.3 plants per square foot with the second tower increasing density to 2.5 plants per square foot. It will also hold several different strains and help verify several different crop models to ensure maximum production and healthy yields.
Affinor has started to harvest strawberries as of the second week of may. Objectives include increasing production per pot 50% when compared to last year's trials, documenting crop model protocols, developing optimal fertilizing formulas, improve circulation and balanced lighting for all plants. Results have been positive to date as production ramps up in the peak harvest time of June and July.
Affinor has also installed new LED's to help balance lighting and increase growth production.
New Lighting Technology / LED partner.
Affinor's technology will require supplemental lighting in order to grow product year round for many greenhouse crops. A new technically advanced lighting company located in Monroe Washington has developed new LED technology with the penetration, lumen output, and spectral array superior to any other agriculture LED system. It will also consume a third of the energy of current LED systems making them the most efficient in the market. Affinor is negotiating an agreement to use the lighting system exclusively and will be putting 8 lights on the prototype towers located at the University of Fraser Valley in Surrey.
Affinor's revenue models include licensing fees to use the technology, running royalties on product sold, margin on equipment, consulting fees and possibly operating its own facility becoming a farmer. Affinor has already signed several license agreements to use the technology based on prototype concepts and preliminary results. Each license agreement has the potential to generate millions in equipment sales and long term royalties. They include:
Non exclusive license British Columbia Canada (24 Tower strawberry farm to be built in fall 2017)
Updates: The license holder has received the permit to build from the local municipality. They have poured cement footings and getting ready to pour the cement slab. Engineering for environmental system ongoing with several mechanical and structural engineers retained for final designs. They have secured distribution of all strawberries produced with Discovery Organics and a large Strawberry producer from California has signed an "On-Farm-Test Agreement" with Affinor and the License holder to supply all seedlings and starting plants for initial growing. They are on track to complete and plant late fall 2017.
Non exclusive license Tennessee USA
Non exclusive license Alberta Canada
Exclusive license in Ontario Canada
Exclusive license in Alberta
Exclusive license in Maritimes
Affinor and Cannabis
Affinor has partnered with THC BioMed located in Kelowna BC last fall 2016, to trial cannabis with the vertical growing technology. However, they have requested to delay the shipment until some internal expansions and renovations have been completed. To date, THC remains interested in using the technology and has not indicated anything on the contrary, however, we do not have a confirmed new ship date. As cannabis is a high value crop and we believe can be grown efficiently with our technology, we will continue to diversity into this market.
Recently, in March 2017, Affinor has installed a growing system in Mission BC for cannabis testing. The tower was planted with cannabis in March 2017 and will hold 256 plants in a little over 100 square feet. The purpose of the installation is to grow medical marijuana and to confirm production yields and the viability of the technology with cannabis plants. Affinor will be one of a few companies actively testing cannabis with vertical growing systems. Results will be updated over the next three months.
As of the end of May 2017, the initial objectives were met as the vertical tower grew 256 cannabis from clone to harvest in seven weeks. The vertical growing tower was divided into different zones allowing several concurrent tests to identify ideal growing conditions and methods. A proprietary sequence of lighting, pruning techniques, nutritional formula coupled with a blended vegetative / flowering cycle resulted in optimal plant size and canopy density for the vertical growing equipment. Under these growing conditions, the newly developed crop model can produce up to 5 crops per year, as well as minimize the movement of the plants. Every plant was grown 100% organically with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Due to the various trials being conducted, final yields varied through the tower. However, one zone produced a reliable 15 to 20 grams per plant under a specific pruning, lighting and nutrient methods. Plans are already in motion to duplicate this protocol and build upon the developed crop model. As well, new LED lighting will be tested in parallel, creating the highest production intensity per square foot with low operating cost. Once achieved, Affinor's larger 10 level, 16 arm, tower capable of holding 640 plants in a little over 100 square feet, will be able to increase productivity over 200% when compared to 100 square feet of traditional indoor cannabis growing, for approximately half the utilities cost.click on table to enlarge
Greenhouse Commercial Trial and Development
A single 4 level tower was shipped and installed at the commercial greenhouse in Michigan in November 2015. The trial was to determine the strengths and weakness of the technology from a commercial setting, improve the technology overall and increase the production of the test crop per square foot. A single 140 square foot space that typically yielded 8 plants per square meter increased to 21 plants per square foot using Affinor's technology. The trial was completed in May 2016 with the company harvesting and selling strawberries from the technology throughout the winter. The trial resulted in several design improvements that have been incorporated into the prototypes being used at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Update on Prior Projects
The St-Chrysostome Greenhouse Facility located in Quebec will be sold and the proceeds will be used to further develop the technology, publish patents, build a pilot plant and general operating capital.
The residential home unit is now repurposed as a "light industrial" growth tower and is currently installed at the University of Fraser Valley. This design will be ideal for smaller greenhouse and nursery operations wanting to increase production.
Affinor has no association with any cannabis company in the United States and has discontinued the agreements with Good to Grow in Redmond WA and Herbal Analytics, however, is working closely the Canadian cannabis companies including THC BioMed.