MONTREAL, Feb. 20, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Urban Barns Foods Inc. (OTCQB:URBF) ("Urban Barns") is pleased to announce that it has expanded its collaboration with McGill University researcher Dr. Mark Lefsrud, of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, to further develop an indoor plant growth system aimed at expanding locally grown food. With industrial support from Urban Barns, McGill University was recently awarded an NSERC Collaborative Research & Development (CRD) grant in the amount of $240,000 in order to continue the development of this important project. The grant will run for an initial period of two years with the aim of optimizing light emitting diodes to assess photosynthetic efficiency of horticultural plants. The project is focused on the refinement of the photosynthetically active radiation efficiency (PAR curve) of plants using light emitting diodes (LEDs), and the basic science research will be used to optimize the lighting in the cubic farming system of Urban Barns to maximize production and reduce energy costs.
Dr. Mark Lefsrud is the principal investigator and team leader with expertise on the use of LED lighting in greenhouse environments and will apply his expertise to the fully controlled growing environment designed by Urban Barns. The research team includes Dr. Valerie Gravel, Assistant Professor in Plant Science, and will also include up to 10 graduates, undergraduates and research technicians over the two years of the grant, with expertise split between the engineering and horticultural needs of the project. The team will perform research on methods and technologies to grow food and other plants in a more energy-efficient manner while also attempting to improve the nutritional value of the food grown.
"Ultimately, the cubic farming systemTM will be adapted to have optimal irradiance and wavelength control for the range of crops that can be grown in this system. We believe that by properly selecting LED lamps we can achieve energy savings of up to 30%," said Dr. Lefsrud.
Urban Barns expects to deliver four new cubic farmingTM machines to the Macdonald Campus of McGill University by March 2014. The initial testing of the machines according to the agreed upon protocols is expected to start by the end of April 2014.
About Urban Barns Foods Inc.
Urban Barns uses patent pending proprietary cubic farmingTM equipment to produce affordable vegetables in a secure and controlled indoor environment. By setting up subsidiary facilities and growing locally, Urban Barns can focus on supplying any community, irrespective of the regional climate, effectively reducing shipping times and related spoilage costs. Urban Barns plans to scale and cater to the demands of all major communities. The company's commitment to its consumers is reflected through its motto, "Purely Fresh, Naturally Tasty, and Completely Healthy".
About Dundee Agricultural Corporation
Dundee Agricultural Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dundee Corporation, holds a 38.97% interest in Urban Barns.
Dundee Corporation is a public Canadian independent holding company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol "DC.A." Through its operating subsidiaries, Dundee Corporation is engaged in diverse business activities in the areas of its core competencies including investment advisory and corporate finance, energy, resources, agriculture, real estate and infrastructure. Dundee Corporation also holds, directly and indirectly, a portfolio of investments mostly in these core focus areas, as well as other select investments in both publicly listed and private companies.
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth above may include forward- looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties. Words such as "may", "could", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "plan" and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of management, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Urban Barns does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements and cautions investors to consider all other risks and uncertainties, including those disclosed in Urban Barns' filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Mr. Richard Groome President and CEO Urban Barns Foods Inc. Tel: 514 907 4989 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:Urban Barns Foods Inc.