Agriculture Centre of Excellence


The BioPod Initiative is a unique partnership between the University of the Fraser Valley, the City of Surrey, and the John Volken Academy formed to stimulate agri-tech development, provide opportunities for careers in agriculture, and strengthen the local food system. This project won a Leadership and Innovation in Agriculture award from the BC Union of Municipalities and it was funded by both provincial and federal governments through the Investment Agriculture Foundation. 

The BioPods are twin state-of-practice greenhouses built by BW Global that are designed to advance the yield potential while reducing the investment and cultivation costs of traditional greenhouses.

ACE welcomes proposals from industry and entrepreneurs to partner on testing and research in the BioPods. Advanced lighting, climate control and water management systems provides the capability for year-round growing. Contact us if you would like to arrange a tour of the facilities and discuss your proposal.

BioPod Projects

Initial projects in the Biopods included the determination of the advantages of a light-dispersing plastic-covered pod concept greenhouse. This project and report included research on the greenhouse structure, use of the vertical growing tower, and a nutrient delivery and recycling system at the Surrey BioPods.

Affinor's growing towers are designed to use less water and land to grow high-quality food year-round. Seasonal growing trials have tested all aspects of the operation of the tower and have resulted in recommendations to changes in design with anticipated reductions in operating costs and improvements of productivity. Current research is using customized LED supplemental lighting on the towers for winter crop trials of strawberries and kale.

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