Plant Chicago’s Research Steering Committee (RSC) met this month to discuss Plant Chicago’s research agenda. Ideas for the year ahead include testing of mushroom-growing substrates, improving material flow measurements at The Plant, testing circular economy business models, and creating a Plant “toolkit” for similar projects around the world.
Plant Chicago has been working with academic communities since the earliest days of operation and experimentation at The Plant. The earliest aquaponic system for Plant Chicago was designed and built by a group of IIT students through their Inter-professional Projects Program (IPRO). That was in 2011! The opportunities for research abound especially as we develop ways to turn one company’s byproducts into another company’s inputs. This has generated small-scale research on everything from fish feed to spent-grain fuel bricks. Plant Chicago has also partnered with Bubbly Dynamics to uncover best practices for measuring, tracking and communicating material flows at The Plant.
This year, we established the RSC, made up of Chicago-based researchers and industry professionals who work in environmental and material sciences/engineering, industrial ecology, urban agriculture and circular economy best practices.
Our September planning meeting included representatives from Loyola University, Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business and Institute of Design, University of Illinois (Chicago and Urbana-Champaign) and University of Chicago.
See who’s on the Research Steering Committee here. And follow our progress on via Plant Chicago’s newsletter and social media!
Here is a description of past and future research project subjects and their focus on local, global, qualitative, and quantitative issues/outcomes: