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Vancouver greenhouse technology supplier wins Deep Space Food Challenge

Ecoation Innovative Solutions will receive $380,000 for their CANGrow system, which operates in remote environments like outer space and northern regions.

April 11, 2024  By Greenhouse Canada

Following a three-year competition, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has announced Vancouver-based Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. as the winner of the Deep Space Food Challenge.

As the Canadian grand prize winner, Ecoation will receive $380,000 for their CANGrow modular indoor food production system, which is designed to operate in remote environments like outer space and northern regions.

“CANGrow uses an innovative approach to producing a diverse range of fresh foods, including strawberries, cherry tomatoes, mycelial meat substitute, etc.,” CSA officials said. “With the potential to generate over 700 kg of nutrient-dense food annually, the system maximizes its produce and high-quality protein sources with minimal resources.”


Ecoation provides automated pest and crop management platforms for commercial greenhouses.

The Deep Space Food Challenge, launched in 2021 in collaboration with NASA and Privy Council Office’s Impact Canada, aimed to develop innovative ways of producing food for astronauts on space missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as for isolated communities on Earth.

The other Deep Space Food Challenge finalists were:

    • McGill University (Quebec): McGill Advanced bio-regenerative Toolkit for Long Excursion Trips (MARTLET). Protein-rich crickets as a protein source for astronauts and humans in remote environments.
    • University of Guelph (Ontario): Growth Options for Outer Space Environments (GOOSE). Controlled environment plant growth chamber designed to produce a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms.
    • Concordia University (Quebec): AstroYeast Microfarm. Yeast strain specially adapted to produce nutrients and flavour molecules in an automated and optimized bioreactor system.

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