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Greenhouses need heat. Buildings leak it. Sounds like a match made in clean innovation heaven.

"Good farm land is disappearing fast.​​" That's how the founders of Lufa Farms start off when explaining their cutting edge approach to urban agriculture. Followed by: "Good water is increasingly rare".

Tackling these apparent shortages is where the genius of Lufa Farms comes in. Where most people would see the urban landscape as being prohibitive to large-scale farming, Lufa Farms sees it as an opportunity to grow more sustainably.

Now with 138,000 sqare feet worth of rooftop greenhouses in urban Quebec, Lufa Farms is perfecting the model for mass urban agriculture. Its greenhouses use half the energy of typical greenhouses by picking up the waste heat of building hosts; they use less water by capturing rainwater and re-circulating 100% of irrigation water; and they virtually eliminate the emissions associated with transporting produce to market by virtue of being situated closer to where people live. 

It's an idea that is proving popular. While Lufa Farms already serves 10,000 customers every week, they will soon be expanding in the rest of Canada and the U.S., and regularly get international interest in importing their technology and model.

How do we help companies like Lufa Farms build more prototypes, scale up and reach a bigger market? 

Businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers across Canada are developing clean innovations that are important parts of Canada’s move to a stronger, cleaner economy. Once a clean innovation is proven, the innovators need help making their product competitive and getting it to market.

Government has a role to play in catayzing private sector initiative. Find out how through Smart Prosperity's work on Accelerating Clean Innovation.

Also: Learn more about Lufa Farms on its website.