The GREAT Institute and Network

Greenhouse Research Education And Training Institute



Grand Challenges/Opportunities

in Canadian Controlled Environment Agriculture 

Check It Out.

Now, perhaps more than ever, people are better understanding the importance of supply chains and food supply to national security.  Greenhouses offer resilient, controlled growing environments capable of producing efficient, targeted, high quality yields.  Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) has a significant and expanding role to play in the Canadian economy.  Ontario Greenhouse vegetable production alone is a billion dollar industry that has plans to grow at unprecedented rates over the next five years.  The sector is rich with innovation and development. Growers, government agencies, NGOs, consutants, and academia have each contributed to moving Canada's CEA industry forward.  While there are examples of inter-agency cooperation, no one agency exists that can act as a central hub for the research, dissemination, and knowledge translation - to put innovation into wide practice.  A prospective GREAT Institute and Network would provide links for the coordination of CEA research opportunities and activities, but also the wider education of all CEA stakeholders (including the public).  Such an Institute would leverage the expertise of grower, government, NGO, retailer, consumer, and academic members to train the next generation of CEA professionals for Canadian and wider global employment.

Overarching Objectives of the GREAT Institute.

  • Enable the GREAT potential of Canada's Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Sector.

  • Radically improve CEA Project Team Building through a redundantly connected GREAT Network.

  • Create opportunities for Multi-institutionally Integrated CEA Training for domestic and international students.

  • Capture the interest and passion of the Next Generation of Amplified Agriculturalists to drive foundational future growth of Canadian CEA.

  • Educate the Canadian public on the critical value of CEA to National Food Security.

  • Build the best brand for Exporting Unique Canadian CEA Expertise to the rest of the world.

Who Should Participate?


Weigh-in with what's important to you.  Could a central institute for research, education, and training be useful/helpful to the sector?  Do you see a different or better way forward?

This is your sector - participate and shape subsequent efforts in this theme.


Hear what growers are saying.  Contribute your own experiences with similar efforts.  Provide inputs on how such an institute may help to reach stakeholders of government research.


Could a central institute be a helpful conduit to deliver your members' research, education, and training mandates?


Offer your take on what education and training services could be offered by academic institutions.

How could this institute help connect researchers with other experts in the sector with shared interests?

The next GREAT Network webinar.


The Next


Network Webinar


1030hrs - 1200hrs

Grand Challenges/Opportunities in Controlled Environment Agriculture

GREAT Stakeholders will lead a spirited discussion to create an inclusive list of challenges/opportunities that should be tackled in the next 5 years to radically advance Canada's CEA Sector.

The GREAT Network Webinar Objectives.

  • To radically advance the expansion, profitability, and sustainability of the Canadian CEA Sector in the next 5 years - participants will explore what major technical, economic, and social barriers need to be overcome to make major progress toward this goal by 2026.

    • Inclusive lists of barriers and opportunities for innovation will be built - including radical re-thinking of conventional practices.

    • Potential mechanisms for enabling/funding actions required for change will be sketched out.

    • Next steps and next date for action will be set.

Recent GREAT Webinars

Outcomes of Webinar 3: Education and Training in CEA.


Outcomes from the GREAT Network Webinar:

"Education and Training in Controlled Environment Agriculture"


1030 HRS - 1200 HRS


Outcomes of Webinar 2: GREAT Network - Who Does What and Where?

Outcomes of Exploratory Webinar 1

Holding Plant

Outcomes from the GREAT Network Webinar:

"Who Does What and Where?"


1030 HRS - 1200 HRS

Glass Windows

Outcomes of Webinar 1: Institute Concept Exploration.

Outcomes from the GREAT Institute Exploratory

 Webinar 1

THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2020.

1030 HRS - 1200 HRS

Expert Commentary Was Provided By:


Dr. Justine Taylor


Science and Government Relations

Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG)

Mr. Lucas Semple

General Manager

Under Sun Acres Inc.

Rising Sun Acres Inc.

Mr. Gene Ingratta

President and CEO

Allegro Acres Inc.

Mr. Peter Quiring

President and CEO

South Essex Fabricating Inc.

and Nature Fresh Farms Inc.

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