A short history of AMI by
AMI's farm lab

A short history of AMI / Published February 28, 2018 by Zjef Van Acker

Zjef Van Acker

A short history of AMI

It all started a couple of years ago, during the early days of the Association for Vertical Farming, when the organisation ran just on the hard work of its numerous ambitious volunteers that shared hopes for a better future.

In those early days a team of "friends" came together to discuss the biggest challenge vertical Farming was (and - anno 2018 - is still) facing: The exuberant amount of energy that the vertical farming technology is using to grow food in a more sustainable way.

The attentive reader will have noticed the serious contradiction in the previous sentence. Because In 2017, still less than 5% of the global energy was produced in a renewable way, vertical farming is still very far away from actually being able to feed a rising global population in a sustainable way.

Hence, after many discussions and brainstorms, the AMI-team came up with a simple idea: What if, like permaculture, controlled environment agriculture and vertical farming would act as an ecosystem. What if we could connect inputs and outputs of the many different closed farming systems in such a way, so that with a minimum amount of resources and energy, the ecosystem could produce much more food than every system on its own.

Like Aquaponics, but than much bigger and better as AMI stands for Aquaponics, Mushrooms & Insects.

So the team got to work, wrote down the basic AMI-idea, put it on shiny infographics and released it to the public during the AVF-summit 2016 in Amsterdam. The idea was such a success that the team put its heads together again, this time to put together a white paper with more facts, data and actual theoretical ecosystems that could work. The paper was released in September 2017 and can be found via the link below:


And this is the video-presentation of its release during NYC Agtech week 2017:


The AMI-team is now ready for the next step: To professionalize this research and back the theory up with experimental data via a global cooperation. Hence, in the process of organising a big and long term research project, many farmers from all over the world would be helped to improve their farms to become more financially and ecologically sustainable.

A win-win-win for all


Ps: As we're all about moonshot ideas - Food producing ecosystems will help us to easily feed 9 billion people. But there's more, it is also the missing link in Elon Musk's plan to becoming a space exploring civilisation. Competition got us to the moon, cooperation will get us beyond!