The finalists of the Urban Greenhouse Challenge: Reforest, an international competition of students held at Tomsk Polytechnic University this year, have been working on their projects jointly with their mentors.
It is the first time Urban Greenhouse Challenge: Reforest has been held at a Russian university. Tomsk Polytechnic University became its main organizer. The key task of the contestants is to develop a project of a city farm, an autonomous greenhouse for growing coniferous and deciduous seedlings on multi-tiered shelving units. The prize pool of the competition is $10,000.
Over 20 teams from 12 countries took part in the selection round of the competition. Ultimately, the expert jury selected the 10 best projects. These projects include teams from Tomsk, St Petersburg, Moscow, Voronezh, Kazakhstan, Novosibirsk and other cities.
“Our teams are working with their mentors individually. The experts are answering their questions, holding video consultations. Based on the results of this cooperation, the contestants are polishing and fine-tuning their projects, as well as are preparing final presentations. The mentors include representatives of our industrial partners, which is very appreciable. We are pleased that our contestants possess an opportunity to receive their consultations and adopt the professional experience in the convenient format for them,” Maxim Volkov, Head of TPU International Cooperation Division, says.
For instance, the contestants can ask questions on industrial design, photonics, automation, biology, horticulture and plant nutrition, ecology and recycling technologies. The mentors include representatives of Schneider Electric, the world expert in energy management and automation with branches in over 100 countries and iFarm, a Russian company creating vertical farms.