Virginia Patent of the Month – January 2022

Hydroponics refers to the art of growing plants in nutrient rich water. That means no soil and no fields. This technology has allowed users to venture into the world of vertical farming, where more crops can be produced while using a smaller footprint. Pod Farms, LLC has just recently received their first patent for their novel vertical hydroponic system.

Pod Farms’ design provides a hydroponic system with a rotatable planting column. The column itself is hollow, providing space for a nutrigation manifold. Nutrigation refers to the process of delivering both water and nutrients to the plant in a single irrigation system. Plants are potted in removable grow cups which nestle into the planting column by sitting in “branches”. Each branch connects to the nutrigation reservoir, allowing plants to draw nutrients as needed. 

The company has found their design leads to more rapid plant maturity, more efficient nutrient absorption and increased crop yields. Their system can be set up indoors, allowing anyone to begin growing their own veggies without needing an entire greenhouse set up. This means fresher produce could be at your fingertips all year round. Innovations like these can contribute to improved sustainability, reducing the need for veggies to be transported globally by allowing the end-consumer to grow them on their own.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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